Government lost P7.7 billion in 2020 after 119,596 businesses close

About 7.8 billion pesos in “forgone revenues” were incurred by the government as a result of the months-long lockdown, courtesy of around 119,600 businesses that shut down due to the pandemic, tax records showed.

Bureau of Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa told the House of Representatives that collections decreased in 2020 by about 10 percent compared to 2019.

He said one of the obvious reasons for the slump in tax collection was that thousands of business enterprises were forced to close shop, primarily because a majority of the population remained at home.

Guballa shared the BIR collected 1.96 trillion pesos in 2020, slightly lower than 2019’s 2.19 trillion pesos.

But while there was a decrease in tax collection, the BIR still managed to exceed its target, reaching 1.7 trillion pesos, or a 15 percent hike from January to December 2020, the highest percentage in BIR’s history for two decades.

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