BIR E. Visayas upbeat to attain P9.44-B tax collection goal

PALO, Leyte -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is optimistic to hit the P9.44 billion tax collection target in 2017 even if it is 9.3 percent higher than last year’s goal.

BIR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Teodoro Galicia said higher government spending and voluntary compliance of the region’s taxpayers would largely contribute to achieving the goal.

As of March 2017, BIR Eastern Visayas already earned P2.72 billion, higher than the P1.75 billion recorded in the same period last year.

“Usually, if the collection is higher in the first quarter of the year, it continues until the end of the year. We are positive because we’re done with the information drive and we are now moving to the enforcement phase of tax collection,” Galicia added.

“The government will be spending more for infrastructure and we expect higher withholding taxes from contractors.”

In 2016, the region only collected P7.83 billion or suffered a shortfall of P800 million from the P8.6 billion goal. However, earnings were P1.3 billion higher than in 2015.

“We’re not able to attain the target last year, but our growth is 20 percent. The rate is double than in the national level,” Galicia said.

BIR commissioner Caesar Dulay ordered field officials to visit taxpayers and monitor those with reduced tax payment.

“We have to find out why their payment has decreased than in the previous quarter. We will submit the list of taxpayers with lower payments to the central office,” Galacia said.

Of the P9.44 billion target, P5.99 billion is from income tax, P2.69 billion from value added tax, P412.98 million from other taxes, P313.55 million from percentage tax, and P25.09 million from excise taxes.

Among revenue district offices (RDO), Tacloban City RDO in northern Leyte has the highest target with P4 billion. It is followed by Ormoc City RDO in western Leyte with P1.67 billion and Catbalogan City RDO in Samar with P1.34 billion.

Other RDOs got higher collection goals this year – Catarman RDO in Northern Samar with P875.36 million, Borongan City RDO in Eastern Samar with P826.94 million, and Maasin City RDO in Southern Leyte with P739.96 million.

The tax agency is also counting computerization projects like online system for transfer tax transactions, electronic certificate registration, and electronic tax information system to enhance revenue generation.

BIR will step up compliance monitoring through existing programs like the run against tax evaders and Oplan Kandado. (PNA)