MANILA, JUNE 19, 2006
(STAR) By Des Ferriols - The Department of Finance (DOF) said value added tax collections reached P23.7 billion in January to April, exceeding the four-month target by P6.6 billion.

The DOF said over the weekend that the Expanded VAT (EVAT) target of P17.1 billion was surpassed as consumer spending picked up towards the opening of the school year in June.

"This is a good indication that with sustained effort, we should be able to achieve our 2006 target of P75 billion in additional revenues from EVAT (Republic Act 9337), Finance Secretary Gary Teves said.

Although the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) failed to meet its overall target in April, the DOF said EVAT returns alone yielded higher-than-expected revenues during the first four months of the year.

EVAT collections of the BIR reached P8.3 billion, exceeding its target by a hefty P6.1 billion while the BOC collected P15.4 billion, or P574 million higher than its target of P14.8 billion.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the BIR EVAT was boosted by lower offsets of input VAT claims by VATable entities (P1.2 billion lower) and higher collections from non-VAT reforms (higher by P0.4 billion).

However, BIRís EVAT collections were negatively affected by lower domestic oil industry output (P0.4 billion lower) and lower yields from input VAT cap and crediting (P2.5 billion lower).

On the other hand, Beltran said the BOCís EVAT collections picked up due to higher import volumes and higher oil prices.

EVAT pushed the BIRís overall VAT collection to P43.2 billion for the first four months, exceeding the target by P2.9 billion. It also boosted BOCís overall VAT collections to P34.5 billion, also ahead of its target by P2.1 billion.

The DOF said gross EVAT collections amounted to P34.9 billion during the period. Of this amount, P23.9 billion were collected from the lifting of exemptions on petroleum products (P20.7 billion), electric power (P2.3 billion), medical services (P222.0 million), transportation (P195.1 million), legal services (P80.5 million), passenger vessels (P20.9 million), and non-food agricultural products (P14.4 million).

On the other hand, input VAT spreading and caps generated P4.0 billion and P1.0 billion, respectively, while VAT withholding on government purchases led to a revenue loss of P388.7 million.

As the government implemented its so-called mitigating measures to offset the increase in the VAT rate from 10 to 12 percent, its collections generated revenues foregone estimated at P6.6 billion for the period.

The DOF said a large bulk was accounted for by reduction in excise taxes on petroleum products (P4.6 billion), repeal of franchise tax on power distribution (P1.0 billion), repeal of common carrierís tax on international transport (P75.7 million) and domestic transport (P23.2 million).

Non-VAT reforms generated P2.3 billion of which increases in the rate for corporate income tax yielded P2.1 billion; gross receipts tax, P86.3 million; and PAGCOR tax payments, P79.1 million.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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