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BIR targets 13% higher excise tax collection for 2021

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is streamlining the requirements and procedures for claiming value-added tax (VAT) refunds. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is aiming to increase excise tax revenues by 13% this year, as it expects economic activity to pick up as pandemic-related restrictions are further eased.

The BIR set a P332.102-billion excise tax collection target for 2021, 12.6% higher than the P294.91 billion collected last year. Excise tax collections from large taxpayers slumped by 7% in 2020, due to the strict lockdown measures and economic slowdown.

The BIR attributed the higher target to the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) projection that the Philippine economy will return to a growth trajectory this year.

Excise tax collections from tobacco products, alcoholic and sweetened beverages, fuel, and automobiles, among others, will make up 16% of the BIR’s total collection target for the year.

The BIR set a P2.081-trillion collection target for 2021, 7% bigger than the P1.94 trillion collected last year.

BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel S.D. Guballa said in a text message the bureau is “hopeful” it will attain its collection goal for 2021.

The agency is aiming to collect P984.65 billion from taxes on net income and profits, up 31% from last year’s target of P751 billion.

The value-added tax (VAT) collection goal has also been raised by 16% to P405.25 billion, from P350 billion in 2020.

The BIR aims to raise collection from percentage tax by 8.92% to P129.292 billion, and other taxes by 23% to P166.05 billion.

The targets have been computed based on DBCC projections of 6.5-7.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2021.

Meanwhile, the BIR said it is streamlining the requirements and procedures for claiming VAT refunds.

Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) No. 47-2020, which took effect on Jan. 19, cut the total number of documentary requirements needed for applicants availing of the VAT refund to 30, from 39 previously.

The number of documents from local offices that require certification have also been trimmed to five from 16 previously.

“Most notable under this RMO is the substantial reduction of the number of documentary requirements and the non-submission of the photocopies of sales invoices or receipts for both purchases and sales of goods or services. Instead, the taxpayer claimant availing of the VAT refund is only required to show the original copies of the said documents together with the corresponding scanned copies stored in a memory device,” the BIR said.

Moreover, several documents that need to be certified or consularized/apostilled were no longer required or have become optional on the part of the taxpayer-claimants.

Notarized sworn affidavits needed have also been trimmed to two from five.

In a separate statement, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) said its Post Clearance Audit Group (PCAG) is expecting to collect P12 billion from the 24 pending demand letters this year. Eighteen have filed a motion for reconsideration, while the remaining eight have been referred to the Customs Legal Service.

It raised an additional P191.38 million in duties and taxes from its audit of importers last month.

“The BoC, through the PCAG is steadfast in its mission and mandate of collecting lawful revenues through ascertaining the payment of appropriate duties and taxes as the nation gears towards economic recovery amidst the current health crisis,” it said. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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