The higher and new taxes slapped on so-called sin products and sugary drinks under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act helped the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) exceed its target collections in the first half of 2018, Commissioner Caesar B. Dulay said Tuesday.
In a telephone interview, Dulay said the BIR collected P967.4 billion from January to June, up 13 percent from P853.6 billion in the first six months of last year.
The BIR also surpassed its end-June collection goal of P938.7 billion by 3 percent, Dulay added.
In June alone, the BIR’s tax take rose 4 percent to P136.9 billion from P132.2 billion a year ago.
The actual collections last month were almost 1 percent more than the P135.7-billion target, according to Dulay.
The BIR chief attributed the strong six-month performance to a combination of improved tax administration and performance of revenue personnel as well as the higher levies under the TRAIN Law.
Signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last December, the TRAIN Law (Republic Act No. 10963) since Jan. 1 this year has jacked up or imposed new excise taxes on cigarettes, sugary drinks, oil products and vehicles, among other goods, to compensate for the restructured personal income tax regime that raised the tax-exempt cap to an annual salary of P250,000.
The excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages, for instance, was a new levy, hence a fresh source of revenues, Dulay noted.
He said that the new taxes on consumption compensated for the lower personal income tax rates under the TRAIN Law, which pulled down income tax collections so far this year, without disclosing by how much.
During the first half, the “big-ticket” sources of tax revenues were cigarettes and sugary drinks, Dulay said.
Under the TRAIN Law, the unitary excise tax slapped on cigarettes rose to P32.50 per pack effective Jan. 1 from P30 a pack last year.
Starting July, the cigarette excise tax further increased to P35 per pack, as mandated under the TRAIN Law.
Dulay said the implementation of fuel marking by yearend as well as higher excise taxes on alcoholic drinks under the proposed tax package “2+” of the Department of Finance were expected to further shore up government revenue collections.
For this year, the BIR was tasked to collect P2.074 trillion, equivalent to 11 percent of gross domestic product.