Total gas dealer faces tax evasion rap

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2011 12:56 PM | Updated as of Jul 22 2011 12:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A Total Philippines Corporation (Total) gas dealer was charged with tax evasion before the Department of Justice for willful attempt to evade or defeat taxes and deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in his income tax return (ITR) and non-payment of the corresponding taxes amounting to P82.54 million.

Charged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday was Carlo Sera, operator of Total gas station in Barangay Abagon, Gerona, Tarlac.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said Sera substantially underdeclared his purchases from Total amounting to P53.14 million in 2007, and P52.51 million in 2008, based on a certification from Total.

Henares said Sera declared his income tax return (ITR) purchases at only P0.54 million in 2007 and P1.02 million in 2008 resulting in an underdeclaration of 14,974% or P95.06 million in 2007 and 5,280% in 2008 or P66.95 million.

Under the National Internal Revenue Code, an underdeclaration of taxable sales of more than 30% is considered substantial, constituting prima facie evidence of fraud.

Sera was also charged for deliberate failure to file value-added tax (VAT) returns for 2009, perjury and failure to register as a VAT taxpayer -- also violations of the Tax Code.

The case against Sera is the 57th filed by the BIR under its revitalized Run After Tax Evaders or RATE program under the Aquino administration.