Revenues down in H1 amid pandemic, but higher collections seen beginning June

The Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of Customs (BOC) collected a combined total of P1.155 trillion for the first half of 2020 as an unprecedented coronavirus pandemic continued to pummel the economy and restrict business activity in most parts of the country, according to preliminary data submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF).

Comparing this amount to the P1.375 trillion collected in the first half of 2019, it is P220.47 billion or 16 percent lower, but only P32.73 billion or 2.76 percent slightly below the target of 1.187 trillion for the January-June period this year.

The BIR, which accounts for the bulk of the government’s tax collections, reported a tentative total of P901.96 billion collected in 2020`s first semester.

This collection period includes the months when strict quarantine measures were imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that led to a virtual economic standstill in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

As a result, the BIR’s January-June 2020 collection is P170.5 billion or 15.9 percent lower than the P1.072 trillion it collected during the same period last year. The January-June collection is also P31.52 billion or 3.38 percent less than the target of P933.49 billion.

With the volume of imports posting a steady decline in the first five months of 2020 because of this global health emergency, the BOC collected P253.04 billion from January 1 to June 30, which is only slightly lower by P1.21 billion or 0.47 percent of the adjusted target of P254.25 billion for the January-June period this year.

This amount is P49.97 billion or 16.49 percent lower than its collection of P303.01 billion during the same period in 2019.

Collections began to pick up in June as the BIR and BOC reported collecting a combined total of P270.77 billion, exceeding last year’s figure for the same month of P211.50 billion by P59.28 billion or 28.03 percent.

The BIR reported P228.23 billion for the month of June, topping by P68.04 billion or 42.47 percent the P160.2 billion it collected during the same period in 2019. It is P56.57 billion or 19.86 percent less than its target of P284.8 billion for June 2020.

The BOC surpassed its collection goal of P40.74 billion for June as import volumes began to improve, with the bureau collecting P42.54 billion, which is P1.8 billion or 4.42 percent over the target.

Even with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s large taxpayers delivered P145.81 billion in taxes to the BIR in June, which is P37.85 billion or 35.05 percent higher than the P107.97 billion they paid during the same month last year.

In terms of income taxes, the Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) of the BIR collected P83.73 billion in June, which is a vast improvement of P37.87 billion or P82.58 percent as compared to the P45.86 billion for the same month last year.

Improvements were also seen in the collection of the value-added tax (VAT) from large taxpayers, with the BIR collecting P24.25 billion in June, which is P2.54 billion or 11.7 percent in excess of the target of P21.71 billion for the month, and P1.57 billion or 6.94 percent better than the P22.68 billion collected in June 2019.

As a result, from January 1 to June 30, the BIR collected a total of P112.35 billion in VAT from large taxpayers, beating its goal of P106.09 billion for this period by P6.27 billion or 5.91 percent. The BIR collected P126.6 billion for the same period in 2019.

From January 1 to June 30, the LTS collected P273.24 billion in income taxes, which is just P22.52 billion or 7.61 percent shy of the target of P295.77 billion for this period, and P50 billion or 15.47 percent less than the P323.25 billion collected for the first half of 2019.

Income and other taxes from large taxpayers amounted to P581.40 billion from January 1 to June 30 of this year, which is P30.01 billion or 4.91 percent less than the collection goal of P611.41 billion for this period. It is also P121.05 billion or 17.23 percent lower than the P702.45 billion collected by the LTS during the same period in 2019.

Most of the extensions of the deadlines set by the BIR for the filing and paying of various taxes ended last month.