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Treasury Dept.: Jan. collections at $817M, beating forecast by $62.3M

Net income to the government’s General Fund during January — the seventh month of Fiscal 2021 — totaled $817 million, while accumulated collections from July to January, reached $6 million, compared to the $5.9 billion on record for the same period of Fiscal 2020.

January collections beat the agency’s fiscal forecast by $36.3 million or 5%, Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés said.

“For the first time this fiscal year, accumulated income exceeds by 1.3% those registered as of this date in Fiscal 2020. Both December and January represented record figures regarding the historical behavior of collections in those months,” he said.

Accrued collections from July to January are $1.2 billion, or 21.6%, over the fiscal estimate. However, Parés said that both the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico   and the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF, in Spanish) are submitting revisions to the Fiscal Plan, which will produce changes to the projection for this period and to short- and medium- term projections.

The increase reflected in January’s numbers is largely due to the second payment of taxes owed from last year’s returns, which were delayed this year due to the pandemic. However, Parés said that since November, collections for the current fiscal year have consistently exceeded those shored up for those same months in Fiscal 2020.

“Revenues for January reached $842.9 million, while collections during the same period in 2020 totaled $734.7 million. The amount collected in the main tax lines, with the exception of taxes on beverages and tobacco products, exceeded what was recorded in January 2020,” Parés said.

“This includes all lines related to income tax, which in past months certainly reflected a lag,” he said.

The collections from individuals, which since November has showed an uptick compared to last year, also showed a positive performance in January. For the period accrued through January, those revenues exceeded what was accumulated to that date in Fiscal 2020 by $83.4 million, or 7.3%.

“There’s no doubt that federal fund transfers, which in January exceeded $1.8 billion, through 19 assistance programs, had an effect in mitigating the effects of the pandemic,” Parés said.

Meanwhile, corporate income tax collections for the July 2020-January 2021 were up $621.4 million, or 34.6%, year-over-year. However, of the $1.2 billion accrued as of January, $211 million are attributed to deferred payments associated with the pandemic, but that apply to Fiscal 2020.

During the cumulative period in 2020, there is also $488 million of non-recurring income. When making the corresponding adjustments, the proceeds from July 2020 to January 2021 are $344.4 million, or 26.1% below, compared to fiscal year 2020.

From July to January, the segments of excise taxes, alcoholic beverage taxes, cigarette taxes and motor vehicle taxes, showed growth of 5.2%, 26.3% and 25.3%, respectively, in relation to the same period in Fiscal 2020. Motor vehicle taxes stand out, as they have consistently exceeded the monthly collections of the previous fiscal year, and as of January represent an additional $69.2 million for the public coffers.

As for January collections of taxes applied to foreign entities under Law 154-2010, the amount was up $15.7 million year-over-year.

“This sector reflects a lag with respect to the performance in Fiscal 2020 of $85.1 million, or a 9.6% drop. As we previously stated, we’ve seen how the initial gap that existed in July, of $161 million between both fiscal periods, has been reduced. As of September, we’ve seen that monthly revenues for this fiscal year have consistently exceeded the monthly revenues of Fiscal 2020,” Parés said.

On the other hand, sales and use tax collections in January exceeded the same year-ago month’s totals by $10.3 million, or 4.5%. The yield for this tax line has represented $254.9 million or 26% more so far this year, versus what was collected in Fiscal 2020.

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

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