Increased spending to drive collections in Q4 — BIR

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said household consumption and government spending are expected to drive its collections over the remainder of the year.

“Of course, (there’s) increased consumption. Second will be government expenditure, because it has been identified as one of the reasons that the projected gross domestic product (GDP) targets are not being met,” BIR Assistant Commissioner Jethro M. Sabariaga told reporters on the sidelines of a forum on Wednesday.

“We hope the coming end of the year will push agencies to spend the money more towards their designated purposes, so we expect to have a better performance,” he added.

Mr. Sabariaga said the BIR is “hopeful” it will hit its full-year collection target.

This year, the BIR aims to collect P2.64 trillion.

The Bureau of the Treasury reported that collections by the BIR were up 7.25% year on year to P1.86 trillion in the year to date. However, it failed to meet its P1.93-trillion target for the period.

Mr. Sabariaga said slower-than-expected economic growth has impacted collections.

“The people of the revenue service are not magicians. Efficiency can only take you so (far). The collection performance assigned to BIR and the tax effort ratio it takes is about 10.6%. The numbers show that the bureau is performing at 14.5% efficiency. I think that just goes to highlight the correlation of the economy with the performance of the BIR,” he said.

In the second quarter, the economy grew 4.3%, the weakest such performance in over two years.

He also noted that the timing of value-added tax (VAT) filings also has an impact on revenue collection.

This year, taxpayers were required to file their VAT returns quarterly rather than the previous practice of monthly filings. However, the BIR has since allowed a monthly option for VAT payments at the request of taxpayers. 

The BIR collects about 70% of government revenue. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

Neil Banzuelo

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