Henares not ruling out filing tax evasion case vs Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines - Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares is not ruling out the possibility of filing a tax evasion case against boxing icon and congressman Manny Pacquiao in the future.
In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Henares said the BIR may file a tax evasion case against Pacquiao if he fails to pay his tax liability.
"The only concession we gave to Manny Pacquiao is we gave him the opportunity to pay up first. The avenue for going after him for tax evasion is not closed. We can do that. What we are saying is it's a concession to him already - just pay us... We can still go to that avenue. It's not closed," she said on ANC's Headstart.
The BIR has gone after Pacquaio for allegedly failing to pay around P2.2 billion in taxes from his boxing income in recent years.
Earlier this year, the Saranggani representative paid the BIR P32 million to settle his value-added tax (VAT) deficiency.
However, Henares said Pacquiao still owes around P2.1 billion in tax liability.
"He paid the VAT deficiency assessment... He still has P2.1 billion left unpaid. He has not sent us any proposal (for settlement)," she said.
Henares defended the BIR's move to go after Pacquiao for his tax liabilities, saying the agency has given him enough time to settle this.
"We were sensitive to who he is, the honor he gave to our country and his ongoing fights," she said. "When we ran after him, one half of the world asked why are we running after him. The other half asked why don't we do the tax evasion... We did a middle ground between the two. Whoever you are you should pay the right taxes."
Pacquiao, who was ranked the 14th highest-paid athlete in 2013 by Forbes magazine with an estimated $34 million in earnings, has fought the BIR's allegations.