Revenue collection ahead of target
In what must be seen as a huge positive for economic recovery conditions within the country, the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) announced that the government’s revenue collection was a substantial 64.5 billion baht ahead of target for the first three months of fiscal 2016.
While 40.3 billion baht of this was from the first batch of payments for the 1800-megahertz licences, it still means the remaining 24.2 billion baht is coming from the wider economy.
The FPO believes the bright start may well be due to the government’s raft of stimulus measures finally starting to bear economic fruit. All told, the government collected 581 billion baht during the three months to December 2015, which was 12.5 percent above target.
Just what the impact of the 15,000-baht tax break introduced as a stimulus measure for the New Year holiday break will be will only be known after this issue goes to press. However, the Finance Ministry estimated the holiday shopping tax deduction would lead to a boost in consumer spending by around 150 billion baht.
While that increased spending is good for an economic kick-start to the new year, the Revenue Department said it expected to lose between four and five billion baht in income from the special tax break, although this would be partially offset by higher VAT and corporate income tax returns.
The FPO has already noted VAT on consumption drove up by a solid 11 percent in December, indicating consumer confidence is returning.
Even with the downturn in revenue collection over the New Year holiday period, the FPO believes the full year targeted revenue levels will be reached.
While the overall revenue collection level was above target, the numbers were not achieved by all departments across the board.
The Revenue Department collected 357 billion baht for the first three months of the fiscal year, which was actually 8.3 billion baht, or 2.3 percent, below target, even though it was up from the same period in 2014.
The Excise Department earned 127 billion baht for the first three fiscal months, which was 2.5 percent above its target and a strong 24.4 percent above the same period the previous year.
The Customs Department collected 30.9 billion baht in revenue, 1.8 percent above target and a reasonable 2.1 percent beyond the same time frame of 2014.
State enterprises contributed 31.3 billion baht, which was 3.2 billion baht above its set target, although a sizeable 32.8 percent lower than for the same fiscal period in 2014. That said, it means state enterprises are note being expected to boost economic activity in the same way they were a year ago.