MANILA, Philippines - Tax collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue slowed down in February, rising by only 5.18 percent to P78.38 billion.
The amount was 10 percent short of the collection goal for the month of P87.32 billion and half the growth seen in January when collections expanded by 10 percent.
Weak tax collections result in increasing budget gaps. To make up for the shortfall, the government borrows from local and overseas markets.
Of the total, collections from BIR operations amounted to P76.11 billion, up 5.1 percent from February 2013. Non-BIR operations, on the other hand, accounted for P2.26 billion or 7.83 percent more than what it collected in the same month last year.
Collections by the regional offices maintained double-digit growth, climbing 10.5 percent to P29.85 billion.
The BIR Large Taxpayer Service, which accounts for the biggest share in revenues, generated P46.26 billion, 2.14 percent higher year on year.
The sectors that are registering high growth are sectors that enjoy incentives like income tax holidays and preferential rates and/or are also exempted from the value added tax because of these incentives. As a result, the growth in these sectors does not translate to increase in tax collection, the BIR said.
“This also points to the need to rationalize fiscal incentives and to review laws that grant fiscal incentives,” the BIR added.
The BIR said it has intensified audit of large taxpayers to make sure they pay correct taxes.
The government’s main tax-collection agency aims to collect P1.47 trillion this year, 16.8 percent more than the P1.25 trillion collected in 2013 on the back of enhanced audit and enforcement capabilities.
The BIR has filed more than 200 tax evasion cases since the start of President Aquino’s term. Majority of these cases, however, are still pending with the Department of Justice.