The Puerto Rico Treasury Department announced Monday that September collections reflected an increase of $109 million, or 18 percent, compared to the same month last year.
Furthermore, agency Secretary Melba Acosta said preliminary revenue in the government’s coffers for the first quarter of Fiscal 2014 exceeded collections for the same period last year by $70 million, or 4.4 percent, and are below current budget estimates by $7 million.
These preliminary figures are subject to change as the Treasury accounts for additional collections, she said, noting final revenues will be reported later this month.
“We feel confident about our preliminary first quarter Fiscal 2014 revenue growth,” said Acosta. “The preliminary figures demonstrate the results of the new tax legislation and the significant fiscal responsibility measures we’ve adopted. We continue to closely monitor revenue collections and reinforce fiscal oversight initiatives in order to meet our goals.”
The Sales and Use Tax (IVU, by its Spanish acronym) collections totaled $97.5 million, a 5.3 percent year-over-year increase.
“These are the highest collections for the month of September since the IVU was implemented in November 2006. This increase is the result of the measures we’ve taken to expand the tax base, and is another positive fiscal signal,” she said.
The revenue increase in September was driven mainly from two revenue sources: corporate tax revenues and excise tax on foreign corporations.
Corporate tax revenues totaled $243 million, reflecting an $88 million, or 57 percent, increase compared to September 2012. This increase is due to the tax changes resulting from Law 40, which introduced the computation of the gross receipts tax (or “patente nacional,” as it is known locally), among others. A quarterly payment of estimated taxes was due in September for most corporations.
The 4 percent excise tax on foreign corporations was another significant category in September revenues, with collections totaling $150 million, an increase of approximately $30 million when compared to September 2012. This increase is a result of the tax rate change that was put in place in Fiscal 2014, she said.
The government revealed last month’s results on the same day that Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla and members of his economic team — including Acosta, Government Development Bank Interim President José Pagán and Office of Management and Budget Executive Director Carlos Rivas — headed to New York to meet with credit ratings agencies to outline the steps taken so far to rebuild Puerto Rico’s fragile finances.