By JUN RAMIREZ
The assessment covered the alleged unpaid income tax from his five fights in the United States in 2008 to 2009 as well as the P32 million in deficiency value-added tax (VAT) as endorser of various products.
The solon paid the CTA last August 1 an unprecedented P11 million in filing fee for it to hear the case. His wife, Sarangani Vice Governor Jinkee Pacquiao, was belatedly included by the BIR in the tax assessment.
Through the Romulo Mabanta, Buenaventura, Sayoc, de los Angeles law firm, Pacquiao described the BIR assessment as “arbitrary,” “bloated” and “excessive.”
If required to pay the full assessment, Pacquiao said, he would be returned to his humble beginning because the amount was more than his net worth.
When contacted for comment, BIR legal officials declined to comment saying they have yet to answer the protest through the Office of the Solicitor General.
Pacquiao explained he did not pay income tax for the two-year period because the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had already collected the appropriate income tax from his earnings.
He said under the bilateral tax treaty agreement between Manila and Washington he was no longer required to pay the tax here.
The lawmaker cited Article 23 of the treaty which stipulates that income tax paid by Filipinos in the US is creditable against his income tax liability in the Philippines.
But knowledgeable BIR sources said Pacquiao was slapped the huge back taxes because he did not inform the BIR, or apply the tax credits from the US in his tax returns as required by the Tax Code.
Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and Oscar de la Hoya in 2008, and Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in 2009.
He said the prize money for the fights totaled to more than $28 million of which the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collected $8.4 million, or about P395 million.
What he paid to the BIR, he said, was value-added tax amounting to P12 million to cover the P114 million he earned from endorsing 14 products including Ginebra San Miguel, United Laboratories and Phoenix Petroleum.
He added that he was willing to settle the additional P32 million VAT deficiency assessment for the two-year period, but not the P2.2 billion alleged income tax debts which included interests and surcharges.
Pacquiao argued that tax assessment was void because the BIR tax fraud investigators based it on “best possible sources,” claiming the method has no legal basis.
He accused revenue probers of ignoring the financial reports submitted by his promoter, Top Rank Promotions and other actual transaction documents, relying purely on the so-called “best obtainable evidence rule.”