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Pacquiao could end up as country’s top taxpayer

/ 06:48 AM April 26, 2014

Photo by AP

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines—Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao could emerge as the country’s top taxpayer for 2013, one of his lawyers said.

Remegio Rojas said that Pacquiao, who recently regained his WBO welterweight title from American Timothy Bradley Jr., had paid about P161 million in taxes in 2013.

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This could make him the top individual taxpayer in the country, Rojas said, quoting figures from the income tax return filed this month by the boxer-lawmaker at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) here.

“Everything was declared in his 2013 income tax return—his earnings from boxing, endorsements and his businesses,” Rojas told reporters here yesterday.

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He said the projection about Pacquiao becoming the top individual taxpayer for 2013 was based on the 2012 BIR list.

Based on that list, which contained the Top 500 taxpayers, Vivian Que-Azcona, owner of Mercury Drug, was the country’s top individual taxpayer with total tax payments of 131.4 million.

Pacquiao was 36th on the list with P22.3 million, which was bigger than the combined tax payments made by tycoon Henry Sy (P16.4 million, 74th) and tobacco magnate Lucio Tan (P12 million, 138th).

But Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said Pacquiao still owed the government P2.26 billion for his income derived from his 2008 and 2009 fights abroad.

The BIR has earlier issued warrants of distraint, levy and garnishment against the properties and bank accounts of Pacquiao to ensure collection.

But just this week, the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) ordered the BIR to lift these warrants. However, the court also ordered Pacquiao to post P3.2-billion in cash bond or a P4.9 billion surety bond while the decision on his appeal questioning the BIR’s tax assessment was pending.

Rojas said they are now helping Pacquiao prepare a motion asking the CTA to reduce the cash bond it required.

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“His net worth is just about P1.7 billion. From being the richest, he would be the poorest congressman after posting the bond,” Rojas said.

He said talks between the Pacquiao camp and the BIR are in progress.

He said Pacquiao was hoping to strike an “acceptable compromise deal.”

“The taxes deducted by the US Internal Revenue Service are much bigger so once he is given the appropriate tax credits, I think, there would even be excess in his tax payments,” Rojas said. Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Boxing, General Santos City, Manny Pacquiao, Remegio Rojas, Timothy Bradley Jr., WBO, World Boxing Organization
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