MANILA, Philippines – Sarangani congressman and 8-division boxing champ Manny Pacquiao paid less than P7 million (approximately US$162,999) in income taxes for year 2010, the chief of the Bureau of Internal Revenue said Wednesday.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares declined to give the exact figure of Pacquiao’s tax payments for 2010 but told ABS-CBNNews.com that “it is lower than P7 million.”
She confirmed that the boxing champ paid P7 million in taxes in 2009, from a high of P100 million in 2008.
Pacquiao earlier declared assets at the end of 2010 at P1.13 billion ($26.3 million) and no liabilities, making him the wealthiest member of the House of Representatives.
Forbes.com magazine estimated he spent $7 million in his election campaign in 2010 while also earning $35 million for his two fights against Joshua Clottey and Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao has accused the BIR of harassment after it sued the boxing champ for contempt for failure to submit copies of his endorsement contracts and TV deals. He urged the BIR to fire Cotabato Revenue Regional Director Rozel Lozares for filing a case against him.
His lawyer, Abraham Espejo, claimed the boxing champ lost several endorsement deals in the United States because of the tax case.
The BIR chief, however, said she cannot fire Lozares since he followed correct procedure in asking for Pacquiao’s contracts.
“[Pacquiao] has a book of accounts so he has to present that. He also has endorsements so he has to submit his contracts. He has a TV show. He has to submit his contract for that. He said he paid the [Internal Revenue Service]. Then show us the receipts,” Henares told radio dzMM.
Henares said she is surprised that Pacquiao is making a fuss over the tax case when he could just easily submit copies of his contracts. Among the documents the BIR is asking for are Pacquiao’s contracts for his 2010 fights against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito.
Pacquiao also reportedly owns a shopping mall, a building-for-rent, restaurant, beauty salon, convenience store, and a water refilling station in General Santos City.
The BIR filed charges against Pacquiao early March after the boxer allegedly snubbed the agency’s summons to submit certain documents. Pacquiao was charged with violation of Section 266 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), and if convicted, he can be fined as much as P10,000 and imprisoned for two years.
Henares denied that Lozares held a press conference to announce the filing of a tax case against Pacquiao.
“We had a kickoff ceremony in Koronadal for our tax campaign, which had a presscon afterwards. The media were the first to know about the filing of the case and they asked…It wasn’t a press conference just for Pacquiao,” she said.
She also rejected Pacquiao’s claim that Lozares should have sent the BIR’s summons to Sarangani, where he is congressman, instead of General Santos City.
She said Pacquiao has yet to transfer his tax residency status to Sarangani.
Henares is also puzzled by Pacquiao’s claim that he does not know the person who received the BIR’s summons.
“If he did not know the person who received the letter, how could he be sending his lawyer and his accountant to our office? That means he knows the person,” she said. With reports from radio dzMM and Agence France-Presse