BIR collects P1.9T in taxes in 2020

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has raked in P1.9 trillion in taxes last year, smaller than those collected in 2019, but bigger than its trimmed target for 2020.

In a statement on Friday, the tax bureau said it collected P1.9 trillion in the last 12 months, exceeding its adjusted tax goal of P1.69 trillion by P213.83 billion or 12.6 percent.

The amount is a 12.44-percent decrease from the P2.17 trillion collected in 2019.

BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay thanked tax collectors for surpassing the lowered target despite the coronavirus pandemic.

He was quoted as saying during his bureau’s virtual command conference on January 5 how impressed he was with their “close monitoring.”

The BIR chief also thanked officials for the positive feedback the bureau received on various media, noting that services had “improved considerably.”

“I can humbly say that since I came in 2016, there is a marked improvement [in] our service, and I can attribute that to those in the frontline,” he said.

Dulay also emphasized the value of teamwork in reaching goals, saying it “is the name of the game” and “is what we need to do and continue doing.”

He added, however, that “bad tomatoes” remained in the bureau that continued to tarnish its reputation.

Dulay also told collectors about President Rodrigo Duterte’s order of a reshuffle in the bureau, for which a review is forthcoming.

“I have people in mind already that I have been contemplating” to move around, he said.
In a televised address on Monday, Duterte directed Dulay to reorganize tax officials to prevent corruption in the agency.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd welcomed the order, saying similar moves in the past had improved collections. The BIR is under the Department of Finance’s supervision.

“A reshuffle will largely address the familiarity of revenue officers with taxpayers vis-a-vis their audit duties or functions in their current assignments,” Dominguez told reporters in a Viber message on Wednesday.

The commissioner’s “judgment in determining the assignments of the revenue officers in different areas has, in the past, improved collection efficiency” and resulted in better tax takes, he said.

“Commissioner Dulay is in the best position to identify these officers and personnel, and recommend to me their new places of assignment,” the Finance chief added.

This directive came after the President ordered the Department of Justice last October to investigate the BIR for alleged corruption.

Dulay welcomed the probe, saying then some people in his bureau could still be prone to corruption, and Justice investigators could come in and help on that matter.

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