Celebrity doc Joel Mendez found guilty of tax evasion

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2011 05:58 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2011 01:58 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Celebrity doctor Joel Mendez was found guilty in 2 cases of tax evasion by the Court of Tax Appeals second division.

Mendez was charged with violation of Section 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 in the first criminal case for failure to file income tax returns for taxable year 2002 amounting to P1.5 million exclusive of penalties, surcharges and interest. In the second case, he was cited for failure to supply correct and accurate information in his income tax return for taxable year 2003.

"Non-filing of income tax returns for 2001 and 2002 was willful and done with deliberate intent to evade payment of taxes, considering that the accused had been operating several businesses for income and making capital investments as early as 1993," the 52-page decision dated January 5, 2011 said.

Meantime, on the incorrect returns Mendez filed in 2003, the decision said: "making it appear that his income was derived mainly from his branch in Dagupan City and failing to declare his consolidated income from his other 'Weigh Less Center', 'Mendez Body and Face Salon and Spa', and 'Mendez Body and Face Skin Clinic' branches cost government P2.1 million exclusive of penalties, surcharges and interest."

As single proprietor of different businesses, the court said Mendez "is required to file consolidated income tax return, viz., an income tax return containing the summary of his income from all sources or business operations in and outside Metro Manila."

For each of the 2 criminal cases, Mendez was ordered an indeterminate penalty of 1 year minimum and 2 years maximum imprisonment and a fine of P10,000 with subsidiary imprisonment if he does not pay said fine.