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BIR, BoC beat lowered collection goals for 2020

The Customs bureau generated P539.66 billion in revenues in 2020. — BUREAU OF CUSTOMS

THE TWO biggest tax collection agencies generated P2.4 trillion in revenues in 2020, exceeding the downscaled targets but still 15% lower than the previous year.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BoC) collected P2.386 trillion, surpassing the P2.148-trillion target by 11%, based on the agencies’ preliminary figures.

However, last year’s revenues were 15% less than the P2.805 trillion posted in 2019. It was also the lowest collection since the P2.23 trillion generated in 2017.

BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel S.D. Guballa told BusinessWorld the bureau collected P1.846 trillion in 2020, beating its P1.642-trillion goal by 12.5% but down 15% from the P2.175 trillion recorded in 2019.

“This is not yet the final figure. Some collections are still to be uploaded,” he said in a text message on Monday.

The BoC on Monday said it exceeded the P506.15-billion full-year target by 6.6% after collecting P539.66 billion. The total was 14% lower than 2019’s P630-billion collections, and 26% smaller than the pre-pandemic goal of P730 billion.

Economic managers lowered revenue collection targets several times last year, as tax collections slumped on weak consumption and business closures amid the pandemic.

The BoC attributed its positive revenue collection performance “to the improved valuation and intensified collection efforts of all the ports, gradual improvement of importation volume and the government’s effort in ensuring unhampered movement of goods domestically and internationally considering the pandemic situation.”

Ten out of the 17 collection districts reached their targets last year, namely the ports of Cebu, Tacloban, Surigao, Cagayan De Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Subic, Clark, Aparri, and Limay.

The BoC collected P47.316 billion in December, 9.1% higher than the P43.368-billion goal. This is the seventh consecutive month the agency reached its lowered monthly goals since June.

Year on year, the December tally was nine percent lower than the P52.195 billion collected in December 2019.

For this year, the BoC is expected to collect P619.5 billion while the BIR is tasked to generate P1.904 trillion. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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