By Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan,
THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said 2017 tax collections as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), also known as “tax effort,” rose to 11.26%, amid improved compliance by taxpayers.
“For the past five years, the (tax effort) average was 10.5% to 10.9%. But for 2017, we hit a tax effort of 11.26%,” BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the Tax Management Association of the Philippines General membership meeting in Makati city.
“We sought out the help of taxpayers and, we’re very, very happy that they responded, that’s why the figures are there,” Mr. Dulay said.
GDP grew 6.7% in 2017.
“We have a very good tax ratio and we have a good growth rate for 2017,” he added.
The BIR collected P1.779 trillion last year, or 97.27% of the target, and up 12.92% from a year earlier.
In 2017, the BIR filed 112 cases under its Run After Tax Evaders program, with overall liabilities estimated at P40.948 billion.
The Oplan Kandado Program closed 125 businesses, producing collections of about P252.14 million from various tax violations including “gross understatement of gross sales/receipts, non-compliance with the value added tax (VAT) law, and non-issuance of the requisite VAT.”
Meanwhile, some 164,062 business establishments’ records were evaluated under the Tax Compliance Verification Drive program, which resulted in collections of P224.8 million.
This year, the BIR is tasked to collect P2.039 trillion.
Mighty Corp., acquired by Japan Tobacco International, paid about P30.4 billion to the government last year to settle its tax liabilities. The Finance department said that tax collections from the cigarette firm increased to about P2.5 billion per month.
Mr. Dulay said he is confident the BIR will meet the target this year, due to efficiencies realized under Republic Act No. 10963, or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act.