MANILA – The Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) tax collections went up by 8 percent last year.
BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr., at the sidelines of the National Tax Campaign Kick-off held at the Philippine International Convention Center on Thursday, said collections last year amounted to around PHP2.53 trillion, higher than the 2022 collection of PHP2.34 trillion.
The amount however fell short of the PHP2.64 trillion collection target of the BIR for 2023.
Lumagui said this was due to the changes in the value-added tax (VAT) compliance.
"Malaki laki yan kasi previously in 2022 monthly yung VAT payment. So isang quarter na VAT yung hindi pumasok for 2023. (That's big because before, VAT payment was monthly. So one quarter of VAT was not collected )," said Lumagui.
He said the VAT payment for the fourth quarter of 2023 was only collected last month.
Finance Secretary Ralph Recto said that despite this, the BIR "still did a good job."
"One of the reasons for that would be that the last quarter for VAT was paid in 2024. So that's one of the reasons," said Recto.
"But essentially I think they did a good job. I think the bigger challenge will be for 2024, because the revenue targets are high as well," he added.
For this year, the BIR is tasked to collect PHP3.05 trillion.
Lumagui said they are banking on the BIR's programs to achieve the collection target.
"For this year, we have a lot of programs like withholding tax on online sellers and digital payment transactions. We will also continue our efforts [like] the run after fake transactions and tax evaders," he said.
Lumagui said they are also streamlining their processes.
The BIR National Tax Campaign Kick-off is a major event in the annual calendar of the Bureau that officially begins its tax campaign activities for the year.
The tax campaign aims to seek the support of the taxpayers in generating funds for the country’s economic recovery and development through timely payment of the correct taxes.
The kick-off was attended by the country’s large taxpayers nationwide, government officials, and BIR partners from the private and public sectors.
This year, the government targets to collect PHP4.3 trillion in revenues. The bulk of the tax revenues amounting to PHP3.05 trillion will be generated by the BIR, while the Bureau of Customs is expected to collect close to PHP1 trillion.
“These revenues will fuel our economic engine towards Bagong Pilipinas—a more inclusive and sustainable Philippine economy marked by lower poverty rates; increased infrastructure and human capital investments; more quality jobs for our people; and improved public services,” Recto said. (PNA)