BIR increases 2019 revenue target despite missing 2018 goal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 1) — Despite failing to reach its 2018 collection goal, the country's tax agency increased its revenue target for this year.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Friday said it wants to collect ₱2.33 trillion this 2019--14 percent higher than last year's goal of ₱2.04 trillion.

While the agency is hopeful about hitting the full-year collection target, BIR Commissioner Cesar Dulay admitted it will be difficult.

"It's difficult but the difficulty will not stop us from exerting all out efforts to go for the goal," Dulay said at the agency's 2019 tax campaign kick-off.

The commissioner said the agency will intensify campaigns like Oplan Kandado, where the BIR shuts down delinquent businesses, and running after tax evaders.

BIR, in a report to the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, said it raised ₱1.961 trillion in 2018, missing its ₱2.044-trillion full-year target by 4.01 percent.

It attributed the deficit to lower collection from excise taxes and value added taxes, which are both included in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.

Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez still praised the BIR's performance, saying he remained "confident" that the agency will achieve a higher collection rate in 2019.

"Through 2018, the bureau's collection reached ₱1.96 trillion or 10.15 percent higher than the 2017 collection," Dominguez said. "This year, even if the goals are set higher, I am confident the Bureau will achieve a higher attainment rate."

CNN Philippines Correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this report.