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P.R. Treasury reports $717.9M in revenue to the General Fund in Jan.

The Puerto Rico Treasury Department released net revenue collections for January, which totaled $717.9 million.

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado said when compared to January 2018, the current total shows a net increase of $133.3 million.

“January 2019 revenues were $188.3 million above the June 29, 2018 Certified Fiscal Plan projections and $23.5 million above the Oct. 23, 2018 Certified Fiscal Plan revised projections,” said Maldonado, noting that the government “has been meeting the revenue projections that were established.”

Individual and corporate income taxes, the foreign corporations excise tax (Act 154) and the motor vehicle excise tax categories were the main revenue drivers, the agency’s data showed.

Corporate income tax revenue totaled $95.1 million in January, a $31.1 million year-over-year increase, and $23 million more than revised projections, Maldonado said. 

“The Act 154 excise tax on foreign corporations totaled $61.8 million, that is, an increase of $3.2 million compared to the previous year,” he said. 

“Revenues for this tax category are always lower in the month of January because several corporations reach the annual tax cap in previous months and, therefore, do not make payments in January,” he added.

Motor vehicle excise tax collections continued at a growing pace, registering the highest totals every month of the current fiscal year since 2006, that is, for the past 13 years, Maldonado said. 

“In January of this year, revenue was $43.9 million, $3 million, or 7.3 percent, above last year,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Sales and Use Tax (SUT) collections totaled $261.2 million in January 2019. 

“This amount was $34.7 million higher than SUT collections in January 2018 and similar to collections in January 2017,” he said.

Of the total, $193 million was distributed to the General Fund, $94.2 million more than in January 2018. 

“This change is explained by the fact that distributions to [the Sales Tax Financing Corp.] were completed in January, as opposed to last year when this occurred in February,” he said, referring to the entity known as COFINA in Spanish. 

“As a result, revenues to the General Fund were higher. It is important to point out that the COFINA Adjustment Plan Agreement was approved by the court on Feb. 5, 2019, and therefore, does not affect revenues reported in January,” Maldonado said. 

Fiscal year-to-date (July-January) net revenues totaled $5.1 billion, an increase of $902.6 million, or 21.4 percent, year-over-year, which was affected by the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María.

Maldonado said fiscal year-to-date revenues were $950.5 million above original projections and $141.4 million above revised projections, which is attributed, in turn, to the economic recovery after the passage of the hurricanes.

Lastly, it was informed that on December 10, 2018, the second phase of the implementation of the Internal Revenue Unified System, known as SURI (by its Spanish acronym) went into effect. January was the first full month under the new system. Taxes collected through SURI are withholdings at source, licenses, SUT and excise taxes, the agency confirmed.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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