TAX COLLECTIONS generated by higher rates under Republic Act No. 10963, or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN), exceeded targets as of end-September, the Department of Finance (DoF) said on Sunday.

A DoF statement quoted Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua as saying that TRAIN revenues totaled P91.3 billion in the nine months to September, 18% more than the projected P77.3 billion and 107% higher year on year.

Mr. Chua said the latest collection is 80.8% of the P113.1-billion full-year target.

“This means we are now closer to completing the 2019 estimates, compared to where we were last year when we were trying to reach the 2018 estimates. This is definitely welcome news, especially for the infrastructure and human development objectives of TRAIN,” Mr. Chua said.

Preliminary Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BoC) data showed they exceeded their targets by P9.4 billion and P4.7 billion, respectively.

Contributing to the overall increase, DoF said, was smaller foregone revenues from reduced personal income tax rates at P79.2 billion compared to the initial estimate of P96.4 billion. “This was a result of better compliance, higher employment rate resulting in an increase in registered taxpayers, and lower unemployment and underemployment rates,” he said.

Excise tax collections from imported petroleum products were above target by P14.3 billion on the back of bigger import volumes, particularly diesel and gasoline. “Overperformance is also evident in the overall BoC petroleum excise revenues for the first three quarters at P64.5 billion, which is more than double the P31.2 billion recorded in the same period last year,” DoF said.

Revenues from excise tax on sweetened beverages were slightly higher than target P1.9 billion while the tax take from tobacco products was P4.4 billion more than target.

Documentary stamp tax collections were also higher than the target at P4.7 billion due to “higher transaction value and better collection efficiency.”

Still, collection of excise tax on some products missed targets for the period, including those from automobiles and domestic petroleum products which nevertheless generated P25.2 billion in revenues.

With lower volume, excise tax on automobiles collected during the nine-month period were short by P11.3 billion. Automobile sales have been reeling from higher excise taxes since TRAIN took effect in January last year.

Collections from locally refined petroleum products also missed the target by P13.9 billion, due to “decline in the volume of removals, and the shift to imported finished products,” he said. — B. M. Laforga