‘Tax effort’ seen nearing pre-Asian crisis level
Quezon City (13 October) -- MEASURES to increase tax collection are expected to help pull up the “tax effort” -- tax revenue as a percentage of the gross domestic product -- to near pre-Asian-crisis levels, with fiscal authorities expecting it to reach 16.1 percent in 2008.
The tax effort is projected at 14.7 percent this year.
After hitting a record high of 17.0 percent in 1997, when the Asian financial crisis began, the tax effort dropped consistently: to 15.6 percent in 1998, 14.5 percent in 1999, 13.7 percent in 2000, 13.5 percent in 2001, 12.5 percent in 2002 and 2003, and 12.4 percent in 2004.
The Department of Finance attributed the increase to administrative measures to augment revenue collection, such as the use of third-party sources, such as clients of large taxpayers, in determining the accuracy of the tax remittances of these companies.
Another measure is the adoption of the “industry benchmarking” method to determine accuracy of individual companies’ income declarations and tax remittances.
A higher tax effort “will help us generate adequate resources to finance our infrastructure requirements,” Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said
The government’s economic officials have set a goal of increasing spending for infrastructure-related projects from the present 3.0 percent of GDP to 5.0 percent over the medium term to attract more investors, Teves said.
The administrative measures are credited for year-on-year growth in tax collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The Department of Finance expects the tax effort to rise to 15.3 percent next year. (PIA) [top]