May 9, 2014 / 10:31 PM / 4 years ago

Puerto Rico's April revenue comes in well below forecasts

May 9 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico on Friday said April revenue came in more than $440 million below target due to a huge shortfall in corporate tax collections, but revenue overall was still up 20 percent from a year ago.

Total revenue for April rose to $1.18 billion from $985 million a year earlier, the island’s Treasury said. But corporate tax revenue came in at just $332.4 million, which was $380 million short of estimates as thousands of corporate taxpayers sought extensions to file.

“We are analyzing the thousands of applications for time extensions that were not accompanied by payments,” Treasury Secretary Melba Acosta Febo said in a statement.

Corporate taxpayers that filed for time extensions without a payment or with an insufficient payment could be subject to a surcharge of up to 10 percent, plus interest at a 10 percent annual rate.

News of the shortfall comes a week after the heavily indebted U.S. territory’s governor unveiled $1.4 billion in spending cuts in a bid to produce its first balanced budget in years.

Puerto Rico has more than $70 billion in debt and an economy that has been in recession for most of the last decade. In March, the island’s economy contracted for a 16th straight month.

Earlier this year, all three major credit rating agencies cut Puerto Rico’s credit rating to junk status. Nonetheless, a sale of $3.5 billion of bonds in March met with massive demand because of the high yields they offer. (Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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