THE Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) tax collection target for 2020 has been reduced further by 23%, with the collection goal for excise taxes nearly halved on expectations of a severe economic slowdown.

According to Revenue Memorandum Order No. 16-2020 dated June 8, a copy of which was posted Wednesday, the BIR’s collection goal for the year is now P1.744 trillion, reduced by P505 billion from the already-lowered P2.205-trillion target adopted in March.

The BIR operations collection target was set at P1.7 trillion.

The BIR said the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) approved the latest revised target during its meeting on May 12.

Prior to the pandemic, the bureau’s 2020 collection target was set at P2.576 trillion.

Under the new target, excise tax collections had the largest reduction of 46.8%, with a revised target of P193.757 billion.

The collection target for income taxes was slashed 19.32% to P902 billion, while that of value-added taxes was lowered by 17.54% to P340.82 billion.

BIR’s collections in April dropped 62% year on year to P90.5 billion, taking its total collections to P559 billion in the first four months, down 18%.

For May, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said tax collections by two biggest revenue-generating agencies is down about 50% from the year-earlier pace due to the deferment of tax payments to after the lockdown.

The DBCC estimated that government revenue will settle at P2.929 trillion this year, lower than the previously estimated P3.17 trillion, as the economy is expected to contract by 2-3.4%. — Beatrice M. Laforga