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Revenues from TRAIN exceeded gov't target by 8.1% in 2018.

Additional revenues from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act exceeded the government's target by 8.1 percent in 2018 even as the law also allowed taxpayers to take home more money with their lower personal income tax rates.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Finance (DOF) quoted its strategy, economics and results group (SERG) as saying that the TRAIN law's net revenues last year amounted P68.4 billion, higher than the P63.3-billion goal.

The DOF's SERG was led by Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, who spearheaded the push for the Duterte administration's first of seven tax reform packages.

'The largest gains were seen in tobacco excise, auto excise and documentary stamp tax collections. Personal income tax collections were also higher than expected due to better compliance and an increase in the number of registered taxpayers. Taken together, these highest gainers contributed around P51.5 billion of the P68.4-billion additional revenue from TRAIN,' the DOF said.

Auto excise taxes surpassed target by P6.2 billion, while collections from higher documentary stamp taxes were above target by P4.7 billion.

'Accounting for value-added tax from additional spending, estimated at P24.6 billion, which was due to additional take-home pay as a result of lower personal income taxes, TRAIN revenue has far exceeded its target, providing additional public resources for infrastructure and human capital development programs,' the DOF said.

In all, the restructured personal income tax system that raised the tax-exempt cap to P250,000 allowed workers to receive an additional P111.7 billion last year, according to the DOF.

Citing its previous estimates, the DOF said 'the implementation of TRAIN gave a combined P12 billion per month in additional income to the country's individual taxpayers, most of them compensation earners, and in unconditional cash transfers to the poorest households and senior pensioners.'

For 2019, the Cabinet-level, interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee projected the TRAIN law and its spinoff tax reform package 1B sans the e-receipts program scheduled to be piloted next year to generate P162.2 billion.

Package 1B was included in Republic Act No. 11213, or the Tax Amnesty Act of 2019 signed by President Duterte last February.

The DOF had estimated additional revenues from the ongoing amnesty on delinquencies to reach P21.26 billion.

Estate tax amnesty, meanwhile, was expected to generate P6.28 billion during its two-year implementation.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 10, 2019
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