H1 tax collections 14% of GDP, up from 13.7%

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Debt-to-GDP down at 44.9% from 45.4%

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Tax collection by the national government in the first half of 2015 stood at an equivalent of 14.09 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the period, growing from 13.69 percent a year earlier, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Monday.

Tax revenues in absolute terms during the six months to June 2015 rose 8.3 percent to P892 billion from the year-earlier level of P824 billion, data from the DOF showed.

In a statement, the DOF said the tax collection during the period reflected the highest improvement in tax efforts by the government since 1997, excluding periods when new tax measures took effect.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) accounted for the bulk of the tax collected in the six-month period, raising the amount by 9.7 percent to P705 billion from P643 billion in the comparative 2014 period. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P178 billion, or 3 percent higher than the P173 billion gathered a year earlier.

Other agencies accounted for a further 7.5 percent increase in collections to P8.4 billion from P7.8 billion.

Govt H1 budget balance swings to surplus, 0.2% of GDP
Without giving details, the DoF said in its release, the government’s overall revenue surged 16.3 percent in the first half, while expenditures grew only 8.5 percent. As a result, the national government’s budget balance in January to June stood at a surplus equivalent to 0.2 percent of GDP, a reversal of the 0.9 percent deficit posted in the 2014 corresponding period.

Debt-to-GDP down at 44.9%
Government debt in relation to GDP contracted slightly to 44.9 percent in June from 45.4 percent at the end of 2014, the DOF said, tracing the improvement to the combination of robust revenues, lower government deficit and stable interest rates.

“The strong fiscal position shall provide adequate fiscal space to enable the economy to push economic growth to higher levels during the remainder of the year, even with the ongoing global financial volatilities and threats from the El Niño phenomenon,” the DOF said.

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