Despite TRAIN law, BIR misses 2018 collection target

Ralf Rivas

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Despite TRAIN law, BIR misses 2018 collection target
The Bureau of Internal Revenue collects P1.962 trillion in taxes in 2018, falling short of its P2.044-trillion goal

MISSED TARGETS. Despite new and higher taxes, the Bureau of Internal Revenue fails to hit its collection goals. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Despite new and higher taxes under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) missed its collection targets for 2018.

The BIR reported during the House ways and means committee hearing on Tuesday, January 29, that it collected P1.962 trillion in taxes in 2018, 4.01% short of its P2.044-trillion goal.

However, the figure is 10.15% higher than its P1.781-trillion collection in 2017.

The BIR also fell short of its income tax collection target, hitting P982.47 billion, 4.14% short of its P1.025-trillion target.

Collections of value-added tax stood at P358.37 billion, 17.8% lower than the target of P435.88 billion.

Excise tax collection was also a miss, reaching only P290.64 billion, which is 12.67% lower than the goal of P332.80 billion.

Reasons for shortfall

The BIR attributed the misses to the programs under the TRAIN law.

There was a shortfall in collecting excise taxes on petroleum products due to the loss of market share by two refineries, high import growth of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas, and petroleum not generating excise taxes at all.

Taxes for sweetened beverages were also lower than expected as manufacturers shifted to using ordinary sugar, which was levied at a lower P6 per liter than high fructose corn syrup, which was taxed double at P12.

The appeal for tax exemptions and the suspended operations of some mining companies also contributed to the failure to meet the target.

The BIR cited the decrease in revenues from the sale of goods amid high inflation as well. –


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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.