Saturday, July 22, 2006

Venezuelan tax collection continues to soar 

A few months ago I mentioned that one of Chavez’s successes, and one of the main things the opposition hates him for, is he has vastly increased tax collections. Tax evasion is way down and revenues are way up compared to previous governments. Tax collections relative to GDP have increased a whopping 62.5% under Chavez.

But the Chavez government has never been one to rest on its laurels and this is no exception as tax collection keeps seeing dramatic improvement and record breaking numbers. In Thursday’s Ultimas Noticias they gave the amount of taxes collected through the first six months of the year.

In January through June of 2006 25.6 trillion bolivares, or $11.9 billion dollars, were collected in taxes. This is 37% more than the budgeted tax receipts. And it is 43.9% higher than the $8.27 billion dollars in taxes collected in the same period of 2005. In absolute terms $3.63 billion in additional tax revenue were collected so far this year versus 2005. And it bears recalling that 2005 itself was a record year for tax collection.

The taxes themselves consisted of $8.9 billion in income and value added taxes with $2.84 billion coming from import duties. The balance was made up of minor taxes.

These are superlative numbers that show A) that the governments tax collection efforts are becoming yet more efficient and effective and B) that economic activity in Venezuela continues to boom which also helps increase taxes.


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