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‘Sin’ tax collection exceeds revised target in October

Taxes collected from so-called “sin” products, such as cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, fell amid weak demand due to the pandemic. — REUTERS

By Beatrice M. Laforga,  Reporter

TAXES COLLECTED from so-called “sin” products in October surpassed the target for the month, due to a pick up in sales of tobacco and alcoholic drinks, data from the Department of Finance (DoF) showed.

Data obtained by BusinessWorld showed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) collected P23.238 billion in “sin” taxes in October, beating the reduced P20.52-billion target by 13.2%.

This was also nine percent higher than the P21.332 billion generated in the same month last year, but 20% less than the P29.2 billion collected in September.

Broken down, excise tax collections from tobacco products hit P14.11 billion in October, up 34.3% year on year and higher by 12.4% than its P12.44-billion target. Taxes from alcoholic beverages, meanwhile, fell 3.5% to P6.967 billion from P7.22 billion the year prior, but have exceeded the P5.53-billion goal by 26%

State revenues from sweetened beverages stood at P2.166 billion, plunging 40% year on year and 15% short of the P2.55-billion target for the month.

Projected tax collections for the year have been slashed on expectations of weak public consumption amid a recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The targets were based on the assumptions of the economic managers during their meeting in July where they slashed the estimated overall revenues to P2.52 trillion. The latest estimates have been increased to P2.85 trillion during a meeting last week after the BIR and BoC consistently surpassed their targets since July.

In the first 10 months of the year, “sin” tax collections reached P212.94 billion, exceeding the target by 16.88%, but still down by 6.7% from the P228.22 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2019.

Tobacco collections fell by three percent from a year ago to P129.02 billion, but were still 16.8% higher than the P110.42-billion goal. Taxes from alcohol products also declined by 8% from its year-ago level to P57. 37 billion, but the tally  exceeded the target of P49.11 billion by 16.8%.

Taxes from sweetened beverages were down by 18.7% to P26.56 billion in the 10-month period. The amount beat the target of P22.65 billion by 17%.

Recently passed laws raised the excise taxes slapped on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. A huge part of “sin” tax collections will be used to fund the government’s Universal Health Care Program.

The BIR raked in P152 billion in taxes in October while the BoC generated P50.6 billion, down by 15% and 12% from their respective year-ago levels but higher than their targets for that month.

From January to October, the BIR’s revenues dropped 10.4% to P1.596 trillion while Customs revenues were also down 15% to P448.6 billion.

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