PMA's Olarte charged with tax evasion

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2014 03:45 PM | Updated as of Mar 28 2014 08:49 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - This may well be a case of a doctor getting a dose of his own medicine.

Outgoing Philippine Medical Association (PMA) president Leo Olarte was charged with tax evasion by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), weeks after Olarte, also a lawyer, challenged the bureau to file tax raps against delinquent tax-paying doctors.

Olarte issued the challenge after critizing the BIR for a tax education ad that showed a public school teacher, depicted as one who pays correct taxes, weighed down by a doctor who was a delinquent taxpayer.

The BIR said Olarte owed government P2.93 in deficiency income tax and value-added tax (VAT) for 2006 to 2012. The complaint was filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday.

"Di ba ho sabi niya kung mayroon kaming alam na doctor (na di nagbabayad ng tamang tax), imbes na nag-i-insinuate kami, file-an na lang namin, di ba? So, pinagbigyan ko lang naman yung request niya... yun ang request niya at yun ang pinagbigyan namin," Henares said.

An alpha list submitted by various withholding agents of Olarte showed that the PMA president had the following income from 2006-2012:

- 2006 - P569,825.88;
- 2007 - P221,206.22;
- 2008 - P226,186.90;
- 2009 - P774,940.59;
- 2010 - P715,515.62;
- 2011 - P992,298.84; and
2012 - P1,191,576.01.

Henares said Olarte failed to file his income tax returns (ITR) and value-added tax (VAT) returns for the said years.

The complaint against Olarte is the 228th filed by the BIR under the term of Pres. Benigno Aquino III.

'Possible miscalculation'

Olarte, meanwhile, believes that the tax evasion case filed against him may have been caused by miscalculation on his part.

In an interview on dzMM Thursday, Olarte said that he does not know why the BIR filed a case against him.

"Hindi ko alam bakit ako nasampahan ng tax evasion. As far as I know, wala akong evasion na nagawa," he said.

Olarte, who is also a lawyer, was teaching at the University of the East (UE) and Far Eastern University (FEU) on the years when he allegedly failed to file his income tax returns (ITR) and value-added tax (VAT) returns.

"Magkano lang ba ang sweldo ng teacher sa pagtuturo? Kapag nagbabayad naman sila ng sweldo, automatic naman na kinakaltas ang tax," he said.

He said he is willing to pay if the deficiency was indeed caused by his own miscalculations. "It's only a matter of calculation, at kung sakaling may kulang, handa naman akong magbayad."

Olarte believes that his criticism of BIR's tax education ad may have caused the agency to single him out.

229th case

Meantime, a separate complaint was filed against Quezon City taxpayers Bernadette Lee Pardo, and Premium Agro-Vet Products, Inc. and its president, Romeo J. Jorge.

Pardo, owner of Pardo Trading, was charged for a total tax liability of P100.27 million for taxable year 2003.

Premium and Jorge were charged for deficient taxes amounting to P48.49 million for taxable year 2007. - with a report from Rose Carmelle Lacuata,