MANILA, SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 (STAR) Iris C. Gonzales - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the governmentís main revenue collecting agency, missed its collection target from January to August by 1.2 percent, it reported yesterday.

The BIR said it collected P619.71 billion during the eight-month period, lower by P7.40 billion compared to the target of P627.11 billion.

Nevertheless, BIR collections continue to register year-on-year growth.

Compared to collections generated during the same eight-month period last year, which totaled P546.37 billion, the BIRís cumulative collections expanded by P73.34 billion.

In August alone, the BIRís tax take expanded 11.2 percent compared to collections in the same period last year.

The BIR collected P87.93 billion in August compared to P79.10 billion in August last year, or a growth of P8.84 billion.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said the agency would continue to improve its tax administration efforts such as the regular filing of cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against tax evaders.

The agency is also tightening the noose on self-employed individuals and professionals such as lawyers and doctors.

On Thursday, it filed tax evasion cases against two doctors and two lawyers.

Collections from the BIR form 70 percent of total government revenues.

The BIR is tasked to collect P940 billion this year, a goal which Henares said the agency would strive to meet through enhanced collection efforts.

Other measures include clamping down on syndicates attacking the value-added tax (VAT) system. Henares said these include traders who are selling fake receipts to businesses for them to be able to claim input VAT.

Under the amended VAT law of 2005, businesses can avail of tax credit on input purchases. These are the VAT paid for purchases of raw materials, supplies and capital goods. There is a cap on VAT credit for inputs up to 70 percent of output VAT. To claim the tax credits, companies must present to the BIR invoices, which would detail their purchases.

VAT is the tax slapped on consumption and is levied on the sales of goods and services at each stage of production and distribution process.

The Aquino administration hopes to contain the budget deficit at roughly P300 billion or 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from the actual P314.4 billion or 3.7 percent of GDP recorded in the same period last year.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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