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Henares says target shoot with Pacquiao has no bearing on BIR assessment

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will still pursue the P2.2-billion tax deficiency complaint it has assessed against boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, despite the “shootfest” hosted by President Aquino in Malacañang wherein Pacquiao and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares were partnered as a team.

Henares said she and Pacquiao did not talk about the tax case during the shootfest.

“We just conversed about who shoots which target and how we will do it,” Henares said in a television interview. She added they were very cordial to each other during the game.

Earlier, Henares said any proposal for compromise would have to be initiated by Pacquiao’s camp and that he would have to prove that his case falls under the circumstances wherein the commissioner of internal revenue is allowed to extend a tax deficiency assessment.

Since no criminal case has been filed against Pacquiao yet, his tax deficiency may still be the subject of a compromise agreement and that Pacquiao must qualify under Section 204 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

Under Section 204, the commissioner may compromise a tax-deficiency assessment only when “a reasonable doubt as to the validity of the claim against the taxpayer exists,” or “when the financial position of the taxpayer demonstrates a clear inability to pay the assessed tax.” The amount of the compromise settlement must also not go below 40 percent of the tax deficiency assessed.

The commissioner may also abate or cancel a tax liability altogether “when the tax or any portion thereof appears to be unjustly or excessively assessed.”

The case that is pending before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) is the civil case filed by Pacquiao against the BIR questioning the validity of the P2.2-billion tax deficiency assessment against him. Pacquiao also wants the CTA to lift the warrant of distraint and levy, which the BIR issued against his bank accounts to answer for the tax deficiency.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the shootfest will not change the government’s position on Pacquiao’s tax liability.

“Joining a sports activity where the President is present does not stop or deter the BIR from pursuing its case against Representative Pacquiao,” Coloma said.

The “shootfest” was held last December 21 at the firing range of the Presidential Security Group in the Malacañang Palace compound. Henares and Pacquiao were reportedly partnered together as a team on the suggestion of President Aquino.

David Cagahastian






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