Top Rank mails US tax returns to Pacquiao lawyers

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Dec 03 2013 04:40 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2013 04:11 AM

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Boxing promotion company Top Rank Inc. has already mailed certified true copies of Filipino champ Manny Pacquiao's tax returns in the US to the fighting congressman's lawyers in the Philippines, its CEO Bob Arum said.

Top Rank's chief financial officer, Dave Lopez, also exclusively showed Pacquiao's tax returns to ABS-CBN North America Bureau in light of the boxer's tax problems with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the Philippines.

Arum, a former tax lawyer himself who used to work for the Department of Justice tax division in New York, said it was his job to take taxes religiously before he became a promoter.

Noting that there are many Filipinos working in the US who pay taxes and are also obligated to pay taxes in the Philippines, Arum said: “I wanna ask the BIR ...how many times have they asked for certification from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? Probably slim and far between. So what they're doing to Manny is absolutely outrageous and it's politics at its worst.”

Arum then invited BIR commissioner Kim Henares to send her agents from the Philippines to the United States to look and audit all of Pacquiao's earnings from Top Rank.

“Let them come to our office let them sit down and we will take them through every single wire transfer because I can represent here today that for all the time we promoted Manny 30 percent was taken out of any moneys paid to Manny and that includes not only his fights but also endorsements in the United States,” he said.

According to Arum, under US law, Top Rank promotions is required to pay the IRS funds withheld from fights and endorsements in the US, and copy-furnish those withholdings electronically to the BIR.

However, he said the BIR does not accept this information by this procedure and is demanding a certified true copy obtained from the IRS.

Arum insisted that Top Rank has provided all the necessary and pertinent papers as well as receipts to prove that Pacquiao has paid taxes in the US.

But he remains hopeful that the bell will ring soon to bring an end to Pacquiao's current tax bout.