Property developer Megaworld Corp. on Wednesday said it has no outstanding or unpaid tax liabilities needing any enforcement action of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“It is being regularly audited by the Large Taxpayers Service of the BIR Head Office, and all its tax returns up to taxable year 2020 have been examined, and all previous deficiency assessments have already been paid for by the company and duly cleared by the BIR Head Office,” the company led by businessman Andrew Tan said in a statement.
The tax agency released a notice to the media on Tuesday that it is issuing a closure order on Megaworld, which was scheduled on Wednesday. Later that day, the agency released another statement that it is postponing the event until further notice.
“Representatives from Megaworld Corp. manifested their full cooperation with all the requirements of the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” according to the media advisory signed by BIR Regional Director Eduardo L. Pagulayan Jr.
Megaworld, however, claimed it has not received any closure order approved by the commissioner of the BIR.
“There was an initial disagreement with the BIR Regional Office 8-B after we raised some issues with regard to their jurisdiction on conducting tax audit of some of our properties, but the matter has been clarified and resolved yesterday (Tuesday),” Megaworld said.
“For pending tax audits, the company continues to maintain its stance of full cooperation with the tax authorities in accordance with their mandate to collect badly needed revenues for the government.”
Responding to the company’s statement, the BIR argued that its regional office has jurisdiction over the conduct of the “investigation involving the verification of tax on the One Time Transaction (ONETT) on the sale of properties by Megaworld.”
BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa told the BusinessMirror that Megaworld initially refused to comply with the BIR’s audit, prompting the supposed issuance of the closure order.
“At first instance, Megaworld refused to comply with BIR audit. Failure to comply with the BIR audit is a ground for closure,” Guballa said.
“Yesterday, it was resolved that Megaworld will now comply with the audit. Hence, closure was set aside. Now, investigation is ongoing,” he added.
According to Guballa, the BIR Regional Office 8-B maintains its position that it has jurisdiction over such enforcement activity, as supported by a Revenue Special Order.
“Although Megaworld is considered as a Large Taxpayers Service, ONETT falls under the jurisdiction of the BIR Regional Offices,” Guballa said in a statement.
“Furthermore, the said properties being subjected to investigation are located within the premises of Taguig City, which again, clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the said BIR regional office, and not of the Large Taxpayers Service.”