* AFIP agency says income tax, import levies lead gains
* Double-digit inflation is swelling state coffers
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Argentina’s monthly tax revenue reached a record 65.68 billion pesos ($13.2 billion) in January, rising 24 percent from the same month last year in line with expectations, the government said on Friday.
Analysts had forecast the government’s tax take at 66.60 billion pesos, according to the median in a Reuters poll. Estimates given by the seven analysts surveyed ranged from 62.22 billion pesos to 68.00 billion pesos.
“We’re starting 2013 with a new revenue record,” Ricardo Echegaray, head of the AFIP tax agency, told a news conference.
“The biggest increases were registered by import tax, which grew 42.6 percent, and income tax, with a gain of 31.6 percent,” he added.
Growth in Latin America’s No. 3 economy slowed sharply last year after expanding 8.9 percent in 2011 and the pace of tax revenue growth cooled somewhat last year.
Much of the revenue growth can be explained by high inflation, which private economists estimate at about 25 percent a year. The government’s widely discredited data put last year’s consumer inflation at 10.8 percent.
This week, President Cristina Fernandez said the government would raise the floor for income tax eligibility by 20 percent, responding to demands from the country’s labor unions to recognize the impact of inflation.
Argentina’s tax revenue totaled 52.84 billion pesos in January 2012.