BIR attributes high collection to 'enforcement activities'

MANILA -- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Wednesday said many enforcement activities have been conducted in order to attain high collection in 2018.

BIR spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs, Atty. Marissa Cabreros said the bureau was able to collect PHP1.952 trillion for 2018 or 96 percent of the PHP2.042-trillion target.

“We were able to achieve 96 percent ng ating (of our) collection because we supplemented it with a lot of enforcement activities so that we arrest na mas maging malaki pa iyong maging (bigger) shortfall,” Cabreros said in a weekly economic briefing in MalacaƱang.

Some of the enforcement activities the BIR conducted include the checking of reported sales of taxpayers using Point of Sales and Cash Register Machines and the investigation by the Regional District Offices of unregistered establishments.

Cabreros said the BIR has set a target collection of PHP2.271 trillion for 2019, 11 percent higher than the last year’s goal.

She said the BIR missed last year’s target due to petroleum industry’s decision to shift from production to importation and failure to meet expected collection in the excise tax on sugary beverage and cosmetic procedures.

"Ang goal po ng (The goal of the) BIR is being set po by the DBCC (Development Budget Coordination Committee) every year, and unfortunately with the economic conditions of 2018, the assumptions po ng ating economists (of our economists) did not materialize for 2018 because of a lot of factors," she said.

Cabreros explained that cosmetic procedures are hard to monitor.

"That is one area na medyo (which is quite) hard to monitor because these are the cosmetic procedures, the doctors are -- they don’t voluntarily flaunt that their clients did some cosmetic procedures and even those clients will not openly flaunt that they did some augmentation," she said.

Cabreros said the BIR did not get the expected collection from value added tax (VAT) because of the increase in threshold of those exempt from VAT. (PNA)