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Treasury cuts collections deficit through June by 69%

Treasury's collection figures for April were released Thursday. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Treasury’s collection figures for April were released Thursday. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Melba Acosta said Thursday that revenue collections so far this year — July 2012 through April 2013 — totaled $6.8 billion, or $321 million less than originally included in the general budget.

The projection of a deficit through June 30, including certain transactions that will close before then, is $295 million, or 69 percent less than the original $965 million projected deficit, one of the components of the $2.2 billion structural deficit.

The updated figure excludes the revenue expected from the newly implanted sales and use tax amnesty that ends June 30. The deficit for the current fiscal year has dropped mostly through non-recurring measures, Acosta said.

For next fiscal year, to the present, the government has proposed and is evaluating more permanent economic measures, the public official noted.

Meanwhile, Acosta said General Fund revenues for April, when income taxes are due, reached $985 million. The current total cannot be directly compared with collections on record for April 2012 given that an extraordinary one-time payment of $209 million was reported last year related to income taxes withheld from non-residents, which was not reduced from the base when the 2012-13 budget was set.

After adjusting for the effect of the non-recurring payment, April collections were $13 million below last year. Considering the non-recurring payment, April collections were $222 million below last year’s budgeted amount, said Acosta.

As for the other main line items, such as the individual income tax, the total collected was $304 million, about $9 million less than expected. However, in the case of corporate income tax, the agency shored up $293 million — $16 million or 5.7 percent over the previous year.

In terms of taxes related to personal consumption expenditures, the results reflect increases in some categories, such as excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and motor vehicles, which jumped by 19 percent, 33 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively. However, sales and use tax collections in April totaled $93.3 million, remaining below the previous year by 4.9 percent.

Revenue collections associated with the excise tax on foreign corporations applied through Law 154 were $127 million, lower than last year’s collections by $22 million. This difference is attributed to the reduction in the tax rate compared with the rate in effect during the same period in 2012.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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