Total collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from January to mid-April this year dived further to P480.64 billion — P226.15 billion or 32 percent below what it collected for the same period last year — as a result of the quarantine measures in Luzon and other parts of the country.

Preliminary data submitted by the BIR to the Department of Finance (DOF) showed that actual collections from Jan. 1 to April 17 was short of P398.54 billion or 45.3 percent of the target of P879.18 billion for the Jan. 1-April 15 period.

The pandemic had prompted the BIR to extend the deadlines for the filing and payment of income and other taxes to next month.

For Bureau of Customs (BOC), preliminary data showed actual collections dipping further to P160.98 billion for the period Jan. 1 to April 15, which was P3.42 billion or 2.08 percent lower than the amount of P164.4 billion collected in the same period last year.

The Jan. 1-April 15 collection of the BOC was also P32.91 billion or 17 percent short of the target P193.89 billion for the period.

The BIR, which accounts for 78 percent of the country’s tax collection capacity, reported even more discouraging numbers for the April 1-17 period, with collections reaching only P25.01 billion, or just 8.66 percent of its target  P288.75 billion for the entire month.

Compared with the April 2019 actual collection of P237.93 billion, the amount collected from April 1 to 17 was 89.5 percent short.

When the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being implemented to contain the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) was stretched by President Duterte to April 30, and with other provinces also imposing similar containment measures, the BIR had to move anew the filing and payment of income tax returns (ITRs) from the original extension date of May 15 to May 30.

The submission of attachments to electronically filed ITRs was also extended to June 15.

The BIR also moved the deadline for the filing and payment of the monthly value-added tax (VAT) returns for February and March 2020 to May 6 to 10 and May 21 to 25, depending on the category of the taxpayer.

The quarterly VAT filing and payment for the fiscal quarter ending Feb. 29 has been extended to May 10 and the fiscal quarter ending March 31 extended to May 25.

The BIR has not yet announced whether it would issue new adjustments to the deadlines after President Duterte extended the ECQ anew in Metro Manila and other provinces to May 15 and relaxed the quarantine in other parts of the country.

In the BOC, collections from April 1 to 15 amounted to P15.57 billion, which was P6.96 billion or 30.89 percent below its collection of P22.53 billion in the same period last year.

It was also P11.63 billion or 42.76 percent lower than the April 1-15 target of P27.2 billion.

Excise tax collections of the BIR across all product categories posted large losses, with actual payments amounting to only P76.47 billion for the Jan. 1-April 15 period, which was P37.76 billion or 33 percent lower than the 2019 figure of P114.23 billion.

The BIR’s excise tax collection target for this period was P161.84 billion.

The consistent large excise tax collection drawers—tobacco and alcohol—recorded significant declines in collections.

Excise tax collections from tobacco for the Jan. 1-April 15 period totaled only P33.19 billion, which was P24.56 billion or 42.5 percent below last year’s P57.75 billion collection.

The Jan. 1-April 15 excise tax collection from alcohol products reached only P17.85 billion, which was P6.24 billion or 26 percent lower than the collection of P24.09 billion for the same period in 2019. (