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The government is unlikely to attain its tax revenue target of 49.63 trillion yen for fiscal 2001, due in part to falling corporate tax receipts, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

Announcing tax data for April, a senior ministry official said a tax shortfall in the fiscal year that ended March 31 is now “unavoidable.”

Tax revenues for April dropped 6.6 percent from a year earlier to 3.827 trillion yen — the eighth straight month of decline — bringing total tax revenues so far to 41.621 trillion yen, down 3.1 percent from the year before.

The tax revenue figures for fiscal 2001 were to be finalized in May, after the government tallies corporate taxes from firms that closed their books on March 31.

By the end of April, the government collected 83.9 percent of the total tax revenue projected under the general-account budget for the year, the ministry reported.

The ministry has revised its projected tax revenues for fiscal 2001 to 49.63 trillion yen — a drop of 1.1 trillion yen — largely because it expects to receive less in corporate taxes from companies that are suffering from the slump.

However, even the revised target appears unachievable, though roughly 40 percent of the year’s corporate tax and 20 percent of the consumption tax revenues are to be received in May, the ministry official said.

“Although we cannot say anything in quantitative terms, when we look at the situation until the end of April and the slump in corporate businesses from last autumn, unfortunately, it appears unavoidable that (revenues) will fall short (of the target),” the official said.

Observers said that the focus would now shift to whether nontax revenue, such as the money the Bank of Japan pays to government coffers, is enough to balance revenue with the fiscal year’s expenditures. Officials said that due to currency fluctuations, the amount expected to come from the central bank is about 880 billion yen more than initial projections.

The last time tax revenues fell below government projections was in fiscal 1998.

In April, income tax revenues dropped 11.3 percent to 2.241 trillion yen, with revenues from tax withheld from wages down 14.9 percent to 957.87 billion yen, while revenues from tax on declared income were down 8.4 percent to 1.283 trillion yen.

Corporate tax revenues were 415.21 billion yen, up slightly by 1.9 percent.

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