Pacquiao scores vs BIR in tax assessment case

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MANILA -- Boxing great Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee will not be required, for now, to pay multi-billion peso bond in relation to their tax assessment case.

In a resolution dated August 18, the Supreme Court (SC) Third Division issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Court of Tax Appeals' (CTA) July 11 resolution that directed the Pacquiaos to post a cash bond worth P3.29 billion or a surety bond in the amount of P4.94 billion.

The bond, which should have been posted last Sunday, is needed to prevent the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from collecting the couple's alleged tax deficiency worth P3.29 billion for years 2008 and 2009.

"We are very happy and I believe (Sarangani) Congressman Manny Pacquiao will be very happy," said Pacquiao's lawyer Tranquil Salvador III in a text message to Sun.Star.

For her part, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said she will only comment after receiving a copy of the TRO.

The SC also ordered the CTA and BIR to comment on the Pacquiaos' petition within 10 days.

Pacquiao tax case

In their petition, the Pacquiaos hit the tax court in presuming the correctness of the BIR’s tax fraud assessment without hard proof and for requiring them to post a bond even if the tax collection processes employed by the BIR allegedly violated the law.

They also saw the bond requirement as a hindrance to seeking justice from the “arbitrary and bloated assessments” issued by the tax bureau.

The Pacquiaos said they cannot afford the bond given that their net worth is only P1,185,984,697 as of July 1, 2013.

"The premature seizure and liquidation of all of petitioners on account of respondent (BIR) Commissioner's premature tax collection efforts will not only destroy them financially...but, moreover, will forever tarnish their reputations beyond repair, even in the absence of a judicial determination rendered after the trial on the merits of the case," the petition read.

Pacquiao had said he already paid $8.35 million in taxes from his fight purses in 2008 and 2009, citing documents from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The eight-division champion's original tax liability was P2.26 billion but it went up to P3.29 billion due to surcharges and penalties. (Sunnex)

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