MANILA, Philippines - Movie director Carlo J. Caparas owes the government P540.2 million for failing to pay taxes from 2006 to 2009, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The tax bureau filed 64 counts of criminal charges against Caparas, a comic strip creator-turned film director, producer and a controversial national artist, at the Department of Justice for violation of the Tax Code.
Total tax due from Caparas for the 4-year period includes allegedly unpaid P344,596,331 income taxes and P195,613,874 in value-added taxes.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said in a news conference on Thursday that a news report on the planned cancellation of 2 television shows, "Ang Pangarap Kong Jackpot" and "Kroko" that featured lottery winners triggered their investigation.
The 2 shows, which Caparas produced, were reportedly part of a controversial 5-year P1.3-billion contract between Caparas and the state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) made under the previous Arroyo administration.
The BIR discovered that Caparas failed to file a declaration of his self-employment income and pay the taxes due from some P851 million he received from the PCSO as payments for producing various television programs from 2006 to 2009.
Caparas declined to comment on the charges against him.
Name and shame
Caparas now joins the ranks of individuals and entities that face tax cases under the revived Run Against Tax Evaders or RATE program of President Aquino's financial team.
The name-and-shame campaign against alleged erring taxpayers has involved a pawnshop owner and several medium-sized businesses and their owners.
On the other hand, the Bureau of Customs has filed a tax case against oil refiner and retailer Pilipinas Shell, the first multinational firm admonished by the Aquino government. Shell has denied the accusations.
Aquino's economic team aims to improve tax administration through these name-and-shame efforts to plug the gaping budget deficit. President Aquino and other politicians have promised during the 2010 campaign not to increase tax rates.
The tax and customs bureaus have already filed several cases before the Department of Justice since July. - edited by abs-cbnNEWS.com