BIR tax collection drops in 2020 amid pandemic


MANILA, Philippines — Taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) dropped by more than 10 percent in 2020 as the country continues to face the coronavirus pandemic.

During the online meeting of the House committee on ways and means, BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa reported that the bureau collected P1.956 trillion in taxes in 2020, lower than the P2.186 trillion collected in 2019.

Taxes collected in 2020 dropped by P230.14 billion (10.53 percent decline) compared to 2019, said Guballa.

Major tax types include income tax, value-added tax (VAT), excise tax, percentage tax, and other taxes.

According to its report, the BIR said they were able to collect P1.045 trillion income taxes in 2020, but this is nearly 10 percent lower than the P1.155 trillion collected the year prior.

Taxes collected from other major tax types also dropped:

    • VAT – dropped by 13.46 percent (dropped by P54.64 billion)
    • Excise – dropped by 6.68 percent (dropped by P21.19 billion)
    • Percentage – dropped by 12.47 percent (dropped by P16.69 billion)
    • Other taxes – dropped by 16.09 percent (dropped by P27.94 billion)

Among the reasons cited by the BIR are the closure of businesses during the lockdown period.

“If we compare the tax types, collected tax types from the year 2019, on a year-on-year collection, there is a negative of 10.53 percent or a total of P230 billion,” Guballa said.

“Kung ano yung economy nung 2020 na lockdown, it commensurates with the collection of the BIR of P1.9 trillion,” he added.

While the taxes collected by BIR dropped in 2020, the bureau was still able to surpass its goal.

BIR’s tax collection in 2020 was only set at P1.685 trillion, but the bureau was able to collect P1.956 trillion. Guballa said there was an adjustment in their goal due to the pandemic.

JE


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