Bus firm president gets 8 to 16 years in prison for tax evasion

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2018 07:28 PM

MANILA - Kingsam Express Incorporation president Samuel Santos was sentenced by the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) to imprisonment of 8 to 16 years for four counts of tax evasion for the taxable years 2008 and 2009.

In a decision by the CTA 2nd Division promulgated last March 12, 2018, Santos was also ordered to pay a total fine of P400,000 or P100,000 for each of the four cases.

The court also ordered the corporation to pay a fine of P100,000 for each of the four cases. 

Santos was charged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue of causing damage and prejudice to the government in the amount of P4.095 million as his tax deficiency for 2008 and P10.8 million for 2009.

He also made it appear that his taxable income for 2008 was only P1.212 million but his failure to declare his acquisition of Kinglong buses worth P13.65 million proved that he had other income which he failed to declare.

For 2009, he made it appear that his income was only P1.623 million but he had other income as shown by his purchase of Hyundai buses amounting to P36 million.

The court noted that in his defense, Santos said that the buses were not considered as assets during the year of acquisition because he was not able to use those due to the absence of a Certificate of Public Convenience which was only released in 2010.

“If the assertion and justification by accused Santos and Kingsam’s accountant will be followed, the recognition of said assets and liabilities in accused Kingsam’s FS should have been reflected in the FS [financial statement] for the ending period of 2010 or 2011 when Kingsam’s certificate of public convenience was issued or payments were being made, respectively. But none of that reporting was made,” the court said.

The court also emphasized that there was no explanation from Santos in his financial statement as to the source of the down payments for the buses which could come either from the assets or income of his company. 

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Catherine Manahan, with the concurrence of Associate Justice Juanito Castaneda.

In his dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Casear Casanova said that he believes Santos was able to prove in court that he had no undeclared income by presenting various documents which prove that the money used to purchase the buses partly came from his wife and from bank loans.