The rise in oil prices, which has led to the implementation of a greater fiscal stimulus for gasoline, has taken its toll on the public treasury, according to tax collection data released by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) .

Although the rise in oil prices allowed oil revenues to increase 35.1% annually in January, the story was different for the collection of the Special Tax on Production and Services (IEPS) on gasoline.

In January, the IEPS on gasoline left a collection of 11,315 million pesos, which meant a decrease of 56.3% compared to the same month of 2021. This fall is associated with the fact that, given the high levels of the price of oil and its impact on the price of gasoline, the government increased in the month the fiscal stimulus to this tax, that is, they stopped collecting a part of the IEPS on gasoline.

In this way, the IEPS registered its biggest drop since the government stopped subsidizing gasoline, in 2015, in addition to being its lowest level for the beginning of the year, according to information from the agency.

“The government seems determined to sacrifice other income in order to look good with the most difficult voters to convince at the polls, the middle class,” said México Evalúa, recalling that as of March a complementary fiscal stimulus was implemented for gasoline. , with which more falls in collection are expected because “the de facto system prior to the tax reform is being returned, when gasoline prices were subsidized, which is not a good way to use public resources.”

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According to the estimates of México Evalúa, in January only 47% of the total possible IEPS was collected, due to the fiscal stimuli that were implemented, which translated into a revenue loss of 12,700 million pesos, equivalent to 95% of the budget. of the priority programs of The School is Ours or Production for Wellbeing.

However, he stressed that despite the efforts, the price of gasoline has increased. In January, Magna gasoline accumulated a rise of 14%, that is, 2.5 pesos per liter compared to the same month of 2020. Meanwhile, Premium 21%, which translates into four pesos per liter.

In the case of diesel, the price of this fuel increased 12%, that is, 2.8 pesos per liter.

The losses

Adrián García, a researcher at the Center for Economic and Budgetary Research (CIEP), recalled that as of 2016 the price of gasoline in Mexico has been controlled to avoid abrupt increases, this through the application of a fiscal stimulus.

Last February, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, oil prices began to increase and, therefore, fuel prices, which caused the government to implement for the first time a fiscal stimulus of 100% IEPS on gasoline. regular and, given the insistent increase in prices, decided to implement a complementary fiscal stimulus.

“The application of IEPS subsidies to gasoline and diesel, derived from an increase in the price of oil, could generate revenue losses of around 554,000 million pesos, that is 2% of GDP. Although part of this loss is compensated by additional income from the export of crude oil, the application of this type of subsidies can have a regressive effect on the population”, he added.

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In addition, he pointed out that subsidizing the IEPS on gasoline is regressive, since it benefits the highest income deciles to a greater extent. Only deciles IX and X contribute 57.9% of tax collection, while the first and second deciles contribute only 3.4 percent.

Other collections that fell

The fall in the collection of the IEPS from gasoline affected not only the general collection of the IEPS, but also the entire tax collection in the first month of the year. In total, the public treasury obtained 379,838 million pesos for the payment of taxes, this is 0.2% less than last year and 15,754 million pesos less than programmed.

However, within the IEPS, lower resources were also observed in other areas. For example, the IEPS that is charged on energy drinks left the treasury a collection of 14.6 million pesos, 23.2% less compared to January 2021.

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