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Tax collections on track, up 9.7% in first 8 months

Collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reached P1.161 trillion in the first eight months, 9.74 percent higher than the P1.06 trillion recorded in the same period in 2016. CC/Michal Jarmoluk, File

MANILA, Philippines — Collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reached P1.161 trillion in the first eight months, 9.74 percent higher than the P1.06 trillion recorded in the same period in 2016.

In a press briefing, BIR Deputy Commissioner Nestor Valeroso said the latest collection figures correspond to 63 percent of the bureau’s internal target of P1.829 trillion for the whole of 2017.

Valeroso said this leaves the BIR with P668 billion more to collect in the last four months to achieve its year-end target.

“The Secretary (of Finance) tried to compute the monthly contributions for us to be able to achieve the goal. If you divide the remaining months of the year, (we should collect) not less than P168 billion per month,” Valeroso said.   

“So therefore, this is a challenge for us and our people here are geared toward invigorating themselves to pursue the dream of achieving the goal as directed by the secretary,” he said.

The BIR has decided to retain its original target of P1.829 trillion, despite the move of the Development Budget Coordination Council (DBCC) to revise downward the bureau’s revenue program to P1.78 trillion.

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To achieve this target, Valeroso said the challenge for the BIR is to fill in the country’s tax gap by capturing more taxpayers into the country’s tax net.

Meanwhile, BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said Mighty Corp. has already remitted the second tranche of its tax settlement offer amounting to P12.1 billion on Thursday, upon the completion of the sale of its business and assets to Japan Tobacco International Philippines Inc.

Including the P3.44 billion paid by the company last July, the BIR has already collected P15.44 billion out of the P25 billion tax settlement offer of Mighty. Another P5 billion is expected to be generated as value-added tax from Mighty and JTI Philippines’ transaction.

Dulay said the P30 billion windfall from the acquisition deal may be used as funds for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

“You heard the President that because of the one-time biggest tax collection by the BIR on the Mighty case, about P25 billion, plus another P5 billion, will be collected for a total of P30 billion. He would wish that this amount be used for the rehab of Marawi,” Dulay said.

As response to the President’s order to step up its tax collection efforts to augment funds for the reconstruction of Marawi, Dulay also committed to continue the reforms being implemented by the BIR.

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