Tax collection misses goal in October

Tax collection misses goal in October

The government's tax revenue collection in the first month of fiscal 2021 fell short of its target by 15.4 billion baht or 8.5%, attributed to the impact of the pandemic.

Kulaya Tantitemit, acting director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO), reported yesterday the government garnered net revenue of 167 billion baht in October, 15.4 billion below the target. The figures were 73.7 billion baht or 30.6% below those collected in October last year.

"A shrinking economy triggered by the spread of Covid-19 has resulted in lower income for business operators and workers, leading to government revenue collection falling accordingly," said Ms Kulaya, also a Finance Ministry spokeswoman.

She said the lower collection also stemmed from smaller revenue remittances by energy-related state enterprises whose operating results in 2020 fell, as well as a relatively high base in 2019.

Among the three tax-collecting agencies -- the Revenue, Excise and Customs departments -- Revenue collected the highest tax amount at 107 billion baht in October, 3.4% higher than the target, but down 11.7% from the same month last year.

The Excise Department's tax revenue amounted to 46.4 billion baht, 5.3% below the target and down 22.2% year-on-year. The Customs Department collected 7.94 billion baht, down 8.7% year-on-year and below the target by 6.5%.

State enterprise remittance for the period totalled 18.5 billion baht, down by 70.9% from a year earlier and 45.7% below the target. Remittances from other agencies tallied 14.3 billion baht, down 16.8% year-on-year and 20.7% below the target.

For fiscal 2021, the Revenue Department has a collection target of 2.09 trillion baht.

Revenue collection for fiscal 2020, ending on Sept 30, tallied 1.83 trillion baht, slightly above the collection target of 1.82 trillion. However, the amount was lower than the initial collection target of 2.12 trillion baht.

In a separate development, Anucha Buarapachaisri, a government spokesman, reported yesterday the country's public debt amounted to 7.84 trillion baht, or 49.3% of GDP as of Sept 30, up from 41.1% year-on-year. The rate remains under the 60% limit the country set for itself.

Mr Anucha said the higher public debt stemmed largely from government borrowing to rehabilitate an ailing economy battered by the pandemic, and investment in infrastructure project development.

The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) in October told Finance Ministry authorities public debt as a share of GDP will not rise beyond 57% over the next five years, with the government continuing to incur a budget deficit at an average of 2.8-2.9% of GDP.

The projection accounts for the 1-trillion-baht loan decree, but excludes the possibility of additional loans.

Approved in April, the 1-trillion-baht loan decree was aimed at shoring up the economy during the pandemic and associated crisis. Of the amount, 600 billion baht is for implementing health-related plans and giving financial aid to affected individuals. Some 400 billion baht is for economic and social rehabilitation through projects aimed at creating jobs, strengthening communities and building community infrastructure. Public debt would rise to 57% of GDP upon borrowing the full amount of the loan decree, said PDMO.

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