TRAIN revenue collection doubles to P91.3 billion
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Additional revenues generated from the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law more than doubled and exceeded estimates by 18.2 percent from January to September this year, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said preliminary data from the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Customs (BOC) showed TRAIN revenues amounted to P91.3 billion during the nine-month period, P14.1 billion higher than the estimated P77.3 billion.

BIR’s TRAIN tax haul exceeded estimates by P9.4 billion, while the BOC exceeded estimates by P4.7 billion.

Chua said the actual TRAIN revenues from January to September surged by 107 percent versus the collections in the same period last year.

The higher-than-expected revenue collections enabled the Duterte administration to allocate more funds for its aggressive spending on infrastructure and human capital development.

In terms of share to the full-year estimate, the reported revenue haul is about 80.8 percent of the projected P113.1 billion tax collections this year.

“This means we are now closer to completing the 2019 estimates, compared to where we were last year when we were trying to reach the 2018 estimates. This is definitely welcome news, especially for the infrastructure and human development objectives of TRAIN,” Chua said.

Major gains during the first three quarters came from personal income tax (PIT), imported petroleum excise tax, sweetened beverage (SB) excise tax, tobacco excise tax and the documentary stamp tax (DST), whose total take showed an increase of P42.4 billion.

“As you know, one of the most significant provisions of TRAIN was the lowering of personal income tax. Losses from this adjustment were originally estimated at P96.4 billion, but actual losses were lower at P79.2 billion, or a savings of P17.2 billion. This was a result of better compliance, higher employment rate resulting in an increase in registered taxpayers, and lower unemployment and underemployment rates,” he said.

Likewise, Chua said excise tax collections on imported petroleum were above estimate by P14.3 billion due to higher-than-programmed volume of imported finished petroleum products, particularly diesel and gasoline.

“The overperformance is also evident in the overall BOC petroleum excise revenues for the first three quarters at P64.5 billion, which is more than double than the P31.2 billion recorded during the same period last year,” Chua said.

The official of the Department of Finance (DOF) noted the clarity in the implementation of the sugar-sweetened beverages (SB) excise tax also improved revenue performance.

“The issuance of a revenue regulation that provided clear guidelines for the SB excise tax led to better compliance by the industry. The SB excise tax was above the estimate by P1.9 billion with both BIR and BOC exceeding their goals,” Chua said.

He added the tobacco excise tax take was also above estimate by P4.4 billion “as the government sustained its crackdown on the illicit tobacco trade,” while DST earnings were likewise above estimate by P4.7 billion due to “higher transaction value and better collection efficiency.”

However, excise taxes collected from automobiles and locally refined petroleum products fell short of the target by P25.2 billion.

“Automobile excise tax earnings were short by P11.3 billion due to lower import volume. This was seen, too, in the overall BOC automobile excise tax collections, which totaled P23.8 billion below the estimate and lower than last year’s take by 29.4 percent,” Chua said.

DOF KARL KENDRICK CHUA TRAIN
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