BIR may collect Jeane Napoles' P40-M tax deficiency as CTA junks review plea

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2018 06:22 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2018 06:55 PM

MANILA - The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) en banc has affirmed the decision of its 2nd Division to dismiss the petition for review filed by Jeane Napoles, daughter of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, on her P40.028-million tax deficiency assessment made by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The ruling paves the way for the BIR to collect the tax deficiency from Napoles, known to have lived a life of luxury in the United States.

In a resolution promulgated October 29, the CTA en banc
denied Napoles' review plea filed on March 3, 2017 against the division order on February 16, 2017. The division affirmed its resolution on April 10, 2017.

Napoles questioned the final tax assessment the BIR had made in a Formal Letter of Demand dated April 20, 2015 for her income taxes for the years 2011 and 2012.

“Consequently, the assailed order dated February 16, 2017 and resolution dated April 10, 2017, both rendered by the court in division, are hereby affirmed,” the CTA en banc said.

The BIR had earlier accused Napoles of non-payment of taxes after it was found that she owned properties in the United States and that she was a registered taxpayer in the Philippines.

The CTA en banc decision was penned by Associate Justice Esperanza Fabon-Victorino, with the concurrence of Presiding Justice Roman Del Rosario, and Associate Justices Juanito Castañeda Jr., Ma. Belen Ringpis-Liban and Catherine Manahan.

Associate Justices Erlinda Uy and Cielito Mindaro-Grulla were on leave.

The court en banc noted that Napoles and her counsel, Ian Encarnacion, were granted all the opportunity to be present in court proceedings but failed to appear.

It was noted that a total of 140 days have passed since the first schedule of pre-trial, with 3 of 5 resettings at Napoles' request.

The court mentioned the failure of Napoles and Encarnacion to appear in hearings as well as the lawyer's tardiness in one instance.

“It cannot be denied that petitioner was accorded all the leeway to prosecute her case, but for reason only known to her, failed to appreciate it in her favor,” the CTA en banc said.

Aside from dismissing the petition for review filed by Napoles, the CTA also acquitted her of her related tax evasion case in December last year.

Napoles' mother is facing several plunder cases before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly running the scheme that funneled lawmakers' discretionary funds into fake non-government organizations.