St. Luke's-based doctor charged with tax evasion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 26 2015 01:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 27 2015 05:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A cardiologist based at St. Luke's Medical Center is facing tax evasion charges before the Department of Justice, after it was discovered he declared no income for six years.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed a criminal complaint with the DOJ against Dr. Benedict M. Lazatin for willful attempt to evade tax, deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in his income tax return (ITR) for taxable years 2006 to 2013.

He was also charged with willful failure to file value added tax (VAT) returns from 2006 to 2012, and in the 1st, 2nd and 4th quarters of 2013; and with failure to register as VAT taxpayer.

The BIR sued Lazatin for a total tax liability of P25.79 million in deficiency income (P19.97 million) and VAT (P5.82 million) for taxable years 2006 to 2013, inclusive of surcharges and interests.

Lazatin is an intervention cardiologist with business address at Rm. 539, Medical Arts Bldg., St. Luke’s Medical Center, Barangay Kalusugan, Quezon City.

The BIR sent letters to St. Luke’s College of Medicine, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Maxicare Healthcare Corporation, which all provided certifications on income payments they made to Lazatin from 2006 to 2012.

However, records of BIR showed the doctor declared no income for taxable years 2006 to 2012. He only declared P1.32 million income for taxable year 2013.

Data gathered by the BIR showed Lazatin underdeclared his correct taxable income by P2.72 million in 2006, P1.43 million in 2007, P1.93 million in 2008, P3.38 million in 2009, P2.13 million in 2010, P2.37 million in 2011, P3.50 million in 2012, and P1.93 million in 2013.

Having breached the P1.5 million threshold by earning P2.27 million in 2005, he likewise failed to register as a VAT taxpayer.