Filipino-Tongan basketball player Pauliasi “Asi” Taulava has scored against the Bureau of Internal Revenue, as the Court of Tax Appeals acquitted him of P9.55-million tax evasion charges.
In a 41-page decision dated Nov. 3, the CTA First Division said BIR failed to prove that it properly served the final letter of demand informing Taulava of his tax assessment for the year 2004.
The prosecution did not present the registry receipt issued by the Bureau of Posts or the registry return card as proof that Taulava was mailed the assessment notice, which he denied receiving.
The failure to give due process to Taulava “gives rise to the conclusion that the accused is under no obligation to pay for the subject taxes,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Erlinda P. Uy.
Associate Justices Roman G. del Rosario and Cielito N. Mindaro-Grulla concurred in the decision.
BIR accused Taulava, who currently plays for NLEX Road Warriors and is the oldest active player in the Philippine Basketball Association, of failing to pay his deficiency income tax and value-added tax for the year 2004.
The said assessments were stated in separate assessment notices dated Jan. 5, 2009.