The national tax revenues plunged 13.8 percent in March from a year earlier to 2.19 trillion yen, marking the seventh straight month of decline and casting doubts over whether the government can achieve its fiscal 2001 revenue target, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday.

Cumulative tax revenues in fiscal 2001 came to 37.79 trillion yen, down 2.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.

“It is difficult to talk about definite prospects, but we cannot be optimistic about achieving the target,” a ministry official said.

Previously, the official had said overall tax revenues for the entire fiscal year would reach the projected 49.63 trillion yen.

The ministry has revised its tax projection for the current fiscal year to 49.63 trillion yen, down from 50.73 trillion yen, largely because of falling corporate tax revenues.

Revenues for fiscal 2001 will be finalized in May after the ministry receives corporate taxes from firms that closed their books March 31.

Corporate tax revenues for fiscal 2001 are expected to be down from the previous year because many major corporations are expected to report dismal results.

In March, the corporate take fell 13 percent from a year earlier to 238.53 billion yen.

Income tax revenues dropped 20.1 percent to 821.74 billion yen, with revenue from tax withheld from wages at 518.09 billion yen, down 28 percent, while tax on declared income fell 1.9 percent to 303.64 billion yen.

The ministry official said the substantial decline in income tax revenues stems largely from falls in taxes levied on maturing long-term postal savings.

Consumption tax revenues fell by 18 percent to 240.16 billion yen.

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