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Tax revenue logged a 20th straight month of year-on-year decline in April, indicating that fiscal 2002 tax revenue will fall below the targeted 44.28 trillion yen, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

A ministry official told reporters that the task of reaching the fiscal year target “has become difficult.” Although the fiscal year ended March 31, certain revenues are not collected until later.

Relevant tax revenue collected in April dropped 6.4 percent from a year earlier to 3.58 trillion yen, bringing fiscal 2002 tax revenue collected thus far to 37.12 trillion yen, down 10.8 percent from the same period a year before.

Cumulative revenue stands at 83.8 percent of the 44.28 trillion yen projected for the full fiscal year.

Tax revenue for fiscal 2002 will be finalized in May, after the ministry collects corporate taxes from firms that closed their books on March 31.

The forecast was trimmed late last year from an initial projection of 46.82 trillion yen due to the nation’s ailing economy.

A persistent decline in tax revenue has raised concern, however, that the revised target may not be reached.

If this is indeed the case, it will be the second straight year for tax revenue to fall short of the targeted amount.

The official could not issue a shortfall figure, as the ministry must see the data for May, when roughly 40 percent of the year’s corporate tax revenue and 20 percent of consumption tax revenue is received.

“Although we cannot say anything in quantitative terms, when we look at the business results, it appears that achieving the target has become difficult,” the official said.

In April, income tax revenue dropped 8.7 percent from a year before to 2.05 trillion yen, with revenue from tax withheld from wages falling 8.7 percent to 874.73 billion yen and that from tax on declared income also sinking 8.7 percent, to 1.17 trillion yen.

Corporate tax revenue decreased 3.8 percent from a year earlier to 399.24 billion yen.

Inheritance tax revenue rose 8.9 percent to 79.71 billion yen, while consumption tax revenue decreased 5.5 percent to 615.05 billion yen.

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