Thursday, 10 April 2008

BIR collections up 13.9 pct in Q1


Collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) went up by 13.9 percent to P163 billion in the first quarter of the year.

BIR Commissioner Lilian Hefti said Thursday the P163 billion collected from January to March was higher by about P20 billion than the P143.1 billion take during the same period last year.

Hefti attributed the higher tax collections to the reforms the bureau has implemented in order to achieve its target of P845 billion this year.

Tax collection in the first quarter was P7.9 billion higher than the agency’s internal target of about P155.11 billion. It was, however, P18.7 billion lower than the P181.73 billion initial target set by the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee.

For the month of March alone, preliminary figures showed that the agency’s tax take inched up by 6.3 percent to P55.4 billion from P52.13 billion in the same month last year.

For his part, BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Nelson Aspe said the BIR tried to sustain the growth registered in the second semester of last year.

“We tried to maintain the momentum in July to December last year,” Aspe said.

Aspe also noted that the tax take of the Large Taxpayers Service from large corporations continued to post double digit growth in the first quarter of the year.

President Arroyo appointed Hefti to replace former BIR chief Jose Mario Bunag last July after the agency’s poor performance in the first half of last year.

This year, the BIR is tasked to collect P845 billion, or 18.4 percent more than the P713.6 billion it collected in 2007. The BIR missed its P765.9 billion collection goal last year by a hefty P52.3 billion.

The agency has stepped up reforms to boost collections this year. The BIR said it would step up its campaign against tax evaders through Operation RATE (Run After Tax Evaders) by filing of criminal cases before the courts.

The agency also vowed to strictly monitor the tax payments of six major industries including manufacturing, banks and other financial intermediaries, insurance, real estate and trading, utilities and transportation, and other services.

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