2018 revenue shortfall blamed on TRAIN Law
posted 18-Feb-2019  ·  
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Revenue collection in the province of Catanduanes last year fell short of the goal set by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law took its toll on the 2018 tax campaign.

Records provided by the Virac Revenue District Office showed that it managed to collect only P397,265,053.84, some 18 percent less compared to the 2017 collection of P485,254,333.62 or a decrease of nearly P88 million.

Last year’s revenue take is also a huge 32.56 percent drop from the goal of P589 million for the year, essentially the same performance turned in by each of the seven RDOs in the Bicol region.

The Virac RDO was even better that cellar dwellers Masbate City and Sorsogon City, which were off their revenue goals by 21.67% and 23.71%, respectively.

An analysis prepared by Leonora Tarroza, chief of the RDO collection section, and reviewed by OIC-Revenue District Officer Daisy Baroma, showed that the Virac office’s collection of Income Taxes, Value-Added Taxes and Percentage Taxes all took a hit, falling by 38.59%, 20.77% and 6.49%, respectively.

The only increases were recorded in Excise Tax collection, which increased by 141%, and Other Taxes, which was up by 70%.

The generally negative performance of BIR tax collection in the province was attributed to the decrease in income tax rates pursuant to the TRAIN Law as well as the transfer of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) withholding tax remittance to the Large Taxpayer Service at the BIR national office.

Withholding taxes on contract payments in the DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District used to account for a huge percentage of the Virac RDO’s revenue take, especially in recent years as the agency’s infrastructure budget reached over a billion pesos. The 2018 infra budget alone for Catanduanes was at a high of P2.3 billion, it is claimed.

In its accomplishment report for the year, the Virac RDO was not able to file at least two cases against delinquent taxpayers under its Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program. Likewise, it was not able to close at least two erring business establishments under Oplan Kandado.

A source told the Tribune, however, that investigators are now developing a case against an unidentified establishment that could result in its closure.

In its audit effort, the Virac RDO chalked up a 257% accomplishment in deficiency tax collections from the audit of cases and enforcement activities in 2018.

It also posted creditable performance in audit efficiency, reduction in the number of Stop-Filer cases and payment compliance by tax type. More importantly, the RDO recorded a 370% increase in the number of registered business taxpayers.

The BIR in  Virac is now marshaling its available resources to implement the 2019 priority programs identified by Commissioner Caesar Dulay.

These include the RATE program to deter tax evasion, Oplan Kandado, intensified audit and investigation, enhanced implementation  of the Arrears Management Program, broadening of the tax base by 5%, Taxpayer Account Management Program (TAMP) monitoring, fuel marking and field testing program, e-Invoicing/e-Receipting and eSales reporting, TRAIN Law implementation, massive tax education campaign and public awareness program, streamlining of its frontline services, and ICT solutions for improved taxpayers services,

Also in the mix are data sharing agreements with other government agencies and local government units to identify potential sources of collection and unregistered taxpayers, action on complaints against erring officials and employees, recruitment of new personnel, and periodic trainings for personnel.

Last Feb. 1, the BIR launched the National Tax Campaign, with the bureau targeting the collection of P2.33 trillion, or 14 percent higher than last year’s goal. This year’s theme is “Katapatan at Galing Para sa Bayan, Serbisyong Tapat ay Buwis na Sapat.”

However, it has yet to assign revenue collection goals for its RDOs nationwide for still undetermined reasons.

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