Tax, nontax revenues hit P 2.84T in 2020


Tax and nontax revenues collected by the government last year amid a pandemic-induced recession amounted to P2.84 trillion, slightly lower than target and below the record-high collections in 2019.

Citing a report from National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon, the Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement on Monday that preliminary data showed total 2020 revenues were below the P2.85-trillion goal projected in December last year.

Last year’s collections were also lower than the P3.14 trillion in tax and nontax revenues in 2019, before the pandemic struck and pushed the economy into a recession that shed millions of jobs and shuttered thousands of businesses.

Nontax collections included dividends, fees, proceeds from privatization activities, and the Bureau of the Treasury’s income.

Before the pandemic struck, the government targeted to collect a record P3.49 trillion in revenues as the economy had then been expected to sustain robust economic growth had the deadly coronavirus not happened.

As earlier reported, the country’s two biggest tax-collection agencies—the bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Customs (BOC) exceeded their downscaled 2020 targets partly due to higher excise tax collections.

In a text message, Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa of the BIR said total excise taxes collected by the two agencies reached P534 billion, bigger than the P491-billion goal for 2020.

Guballa said the BIR alone collected P293.7 billion in excise taxes last year, larger than the P285.8-billion target.

To recall, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act further jacked up excise tax rates last year alongside the two laws slapping higher levies on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, which took effect in 2020.

The DOF said excise taxes from “sin” products exceeded their respective targets—the cigarette tax take of P148.5 billion was 6.7-percent higher, while the P75.9 billion collected from alcohol was 22.7-percent above the goal.

The excise taxes collected from sugary drinks amounting to P30.6 billion likewise surpassed the P28.5-billion program, the DOF said, adding that “the BIR’s excise tax collections from minerals, automobiles and cosmetic procedures were also above-target in 2020.” —Ben O. de Vera INQ

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