Pacquiao's tax woes far from over

by Jojo Malig,

Posted at Apr 27 2012 10:37 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2012 07:25 AM

Boxer-politician's 2008, 2009 tax payments also under probe

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao's tax woes are far from over.

Pacquiao's tax payments for 2008 and 2009 are also being reviewed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), according to BIR deputy commissioner Estella Sales.

"Mayroon pa ho. Ongoing pa ho ang investigation," Sales told radio dzMM on Friday.

The BIR earlier filed charges against Pacquiao for allegedly violating the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

This was after Pacquiao reportedly snubbed the BIR’s summons to present his tax records to the agency for the year 2010.

For 2010, the BIR wants look at 33 tax records, including Pacquiao’s annual income tax return, his book of accounts, list of assets, as well as his earnings from his fights against Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey.

The agency also asked Pacquiao to produce 29 copies of his contracts for endorsements, including endorsements with Ricoa, Pagcor, and PLDT.

Estella said Pacquiao has submitted a counter-affidavit on the case.

"Ngayon po ay submitted na for resolution iyon," she said.

The BIR official, however, did not say if Pacquiao has already complied with the bureau's order to submit the financial records he has been ordered to file.

"Violation of subpoena lang po iyon. Hindi pa po iyon iyung formal assessment ng BIR on the amount of the tax," she said.

Only P9M tax payment in 2010

Pacquiao paid P9,190,691 in taxes in 2010, making him only the 135th top individual taxpayer in the country.

However, according to Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) data, Pacquiao's taxable income for 2010 was P504.5 million -- more than twice the taxable income of the top taxpayer, businessman Vicente Lao, who had a taxable income of P235 million.

He paid over P125 million in taxes for 2008, but only P7.41 million in 2009.

In response, Pacquiao lashed out at the BIR and claimed that he was being "harassed."

Sales, meanwhile, declined to discuss the details about Pacquiao's tax records, as well as other personalities who are now undergoing investigation. 

"Kung imbestigasyon ho iyan being conducted by the BIR, I'm not at liberty to disclose pa ho," she said.

"Marami ho kaming iniimbestigahan. Alam nyo naman ho tuloy-tuloy ang imbestigasyon namin, hindi ho kami tumitigil diyan," she added.

She said the BIR only discloses actual tax evasion cases when they have already been filed in court.

Due process

Sales said those accused of tax evasion are given due process.

"May oportunidad namang i-contest ang findings," she said.

The BIR official said anyone undergoing a tax investigation will be informed and given the opprtunity to contest the bureau's findings.

"Lalo na po kung may pangalan iyung mga tao, baka sabihin eh padalos-dalos ho tayo," she said.