Pacquiao seeks to reduce bond in tax case

By Janvic Mateo, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 08 2014 02:28 AM | Updated as of May 08 2014 10:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and his wife Vice Gov. Jinkee have asked the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) to reduce the bond for the lifting of the Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) garnishment order on his assets.

Information posted on the CTA website showed that the Pacquiaos have filed a partial motion for reconsideration on the April 22 order granting their motion to stop the BIR from garnishing their properties to collect P3.289 billion in alleged back taxes.

The appeal included an application to dispense with or reduce the bond and a prayer for extension of time to post bond.

The CTA ruled that failure of the Pacquiaos to post the required cash or surety bond and submit the requirements within 10 days from receipt of the resolution will warrant the setting aside of the suspension of collection of taxes.

Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said the BIR sees the CTA ruling as a victory as it guarantees protection of government interest.

“Basically, the decision of the Court was not to determine if the assessment has become final,” she said.

“A full-blown trial must be conducted. I do not see it as stopping the garnishment as it will only stop if he is able to post a cash bond or surety bond.”

The CTA has yet to rule on the petition for review of the Pacquiaos.

They are appealing the BIR’s tax assessment that accused them of failing to pay taxes amounting to P2.2 billion from his bouts in the US in 2008 and 2009.

As of last year, the amount has increased to over P3 billion due to surcharges and interest.

On Oct. 18 last year, the Pacquiaos filed the urgent motion to suspend collection of taxes after the BIR supposedly issued a warrant of garnishment.

Based on records, representatives of the Pacquiaos and the BIR informed the CTA in Dec. 5 of a discussion between them to have a material effect in the outcome of the case.

Moving for the resetting of the hearing, the lawyers said they need sufficient time to conclude the discussion, and that they endeavored to submit an appropriate pleading on or before Jan. 16, 2014.

The CTA will be informed of the status and/or results of the discussion, they added.

Information about the outcome of the discussions was not released.

However, the CTA proceeded with the scheduled hearings on the urgent motion in January.

The BIR has not lifted the garnishment order despite the negotiations.