Taxman goes to the provinces

Subscribe Now February 11, 2011 at 10:53pm

The government’s campaign against tax cheats has spread out to the provinces.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) yesterday filed 15 counts of tax evasion cases against a businessman from Davao del Norte who allegedly owed the government close to P43 million in taxes. BIR commissioner Kim Henares also charged a Manila-based drugstore owner who purportedly evaded paying over P516 million in income and value-added taxes in 2006 and 2007.

Henares said Ritchie Barriga, the registered owner of Richpack Manufacturing in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, did not declare his sales of P58,251,135.34 to the BIR in 2009.

Instead, she said Barriga claimed that he only received P14,583,960.67 from the sales of plastic products he sold to four major banana plantations in Davao province.

Because of this, the BIR chief said Barriga skirted paying P30,367,187.68 in income tax and VAT collections of P12,345,869.10 to the government.

“This is actually the first case filed by the BIR against a taxpayer outside Metro Manila,” Henares told reporters at the Department of Justice.

From merely collecting tax deficiency and filing administrative cases, Henares said the agency had been pursuing criminal charges against erring taxpayers and companies as part of the reforms under the Aquino administration.

“We are changing the paradigm of our people. Instead of just collecting deficiencies, we should file cases against those who continue to violate the law,” she stressed.

On the other hand, the BIR sued All P Drugstore owner William Liu Co for his “willful attempt” to “underdeclare” his purchase to hide the total sales of his business.

According to Henares, Co stated in his financial statement that he purchased assorted drug products from Zuellig Pharma Corp. in 2006 and 2007 for P191,682,601.91 and P360,067,057.85, respectively.

However, a check made by the BIR with the drug manufacturing firm revealed that Co’s company actually purchased a total of P1.6 billion worth of drug products.


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