• The Star Staff

Treasury reports start of FY 2021 with revenues of close to $1.7 billion in first two months

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea announced Thursday that preliminary net income to the General Fund in July and August, the first two months of fiscal year (FY) 2020-2021, totaled almost $1.7 billion, exceeding the fiscal estimate by $190 million, or 12.8 percent.

The secretary highlighted that the collection performance for the first two months of FY 2021 shows the stability of the tax system, particularly in the context of an atypical period affected by earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic. The fiscal plan certified by the Financial Oversight and Management Board at the end of May of this year projected a growth in the economy for FY 2021 of between 0.5 percent and -3.4 percent of the real gross product.

The oversight board in its certified fiscal plan revised the projection of net income to the General Fund for FY 2020 to $9 billion, which represented a reduction of $1.3 billion, or 13.4 percent, in relation to the original projection of $10.4 billion included in the certified fiscal plan on May 9, 2019. Also, the fiscal projection of the board for FY 2021 was revised to $9.6 billion in relation to the income base of FY 2020, a growth of 6.7 percent, or $608 million.

“However, of the total of $9.6 billion planned for this fiscal year, $600 million, or 6.2 percent, of the total corresponds to income from tax transactions whose expiration dates were postponed for periods corresponding to this new fiscal year,” the Treasury chief said. “From the period in which the state of emergency was declared in March due to the pandemic, the Department granted postponements in the due dates of payments of different types of tax, such as the returns on income tax for individuals, corporations and companies, payments for withholding, and sales and use tax payments, both on imports and in the monthly sales and use payroll.”

That said, the projection for the current fiscal year without considering the postponement measures for COVID-19 totals $9 billion, or $608 million more than the numbers estimated by the oversight board for FY 2020 in its latest certified fiscal plan.

“At the beginning of this fiscal year, the month of July, in addition to exceeding the projection for the month at $947.5 million by $94.9 million, fulfilled a large part of the expected collections for deferred income for fiscal year 2020,” Parés Alicea said.

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