MANILA - A Pampanga-based couple may face possible jail time and billions in fines after the Bureau of Internal Revenue found that they manufactured cigarettes using fake tax stamps.
The BIR accused spouses Mark Bryan and Jeanette Chan of using more than 8 million fake tax stamps for the cigarettes they produced at a cigarette factory in Lubao, Pampanga, effectively evading paying more than P2.57 billion in excise taxes.
The BIR also found that the couple even used the names of their 2 minor children as registered owners of the factory-warehouse but it was the mother who signed the deed of absolute sale.
Under the Tax Code, a person caught in possession of fake stamps could face between 4 to 8 years jail time and a fine of P20,000 to P50,000.
A manufacturer, meanwhile, who removes or allows the removal of goods subject to excise tax from the place of production without the payment of such taxes could be imprisoned between 2 to 4 years and fined not less than 10 times the amount of excise taxes due.
If found guilty, this would mean possible liability of more than P25 billion.
The BIR also filed on Tuesday tax evasion charges against business entrepreneurs Liberty Gagui and Sherwin Sionzon for failure to pay alleged tax liabilities.
Gagui, who is engaged in wholesale trading of hardware, plumbing and heating equipment allegedly owes BIR Caloocan P91.71 million in taxes for 2010 while Sionzon, who is in the building and construction business, supposedly owes BIR Pampanga more than P23 million in taxes for 2006.
Meanwhile, FNP Corporation and Marel Multi Sales Corporation allegedly owed the BIR P24.11 million in taxes for 2012 and P110.61 million in taxes for 2014, respectively.
If found guilty of violating the Tax Code, the sole proprietors and the companies’ officers could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined at least 10,000.
The companies could also be ordered to pay fines ranging from P50,000 to P100,000, aside from paying the taxes due.