Pacquiao asks Supreme Court to intervene in tax battle

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With a disqualification case against him for the May 2016 Philippine elections still pending, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is facing another legal battle.

The eight-division boxing champion and his wife, Jinkee, in a 75-page petition, has asked the Supre Court (SC) of the Philippines to bar the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from executing the warrant of distraint and levy – an order of freezing and/or seizing their assets for their alleged 3-billion peso tax liabilities.

The Pacquiao couple also urged the court to reverse the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) ordering him to deposit a 3.2-billion peso cash bond or 4.9-billion peso surety bond as a condition to suspend tax collection against them.

The posting of the cash or surety bond had earlier been stopped by the SC through a temporary restraining order.

“The premature seizure and liquidation of all of the properties of petitioners on account of respondent BIR Commissioner’s (Kim Henares) premature tax collection efforts will not only destroy them financially. But, moreover, will forever tarnish their reputations beyond repair, even in the absence of a judicial determination rendered after the trial on the merits of the case,” the Pacquiao couple stated in their petition.

The 36-year-old Pacquiao also told the SC that they were denied due process by the BIR when it proceeded with the tax collection process even without serving them a Final Decision on Disputed Assessment (FDDA).

An FDDA is required to give a taxpayer a chance to question the final decision of the BIR.

The Pacquiaos’ tax liability, according to the BIR, has amounted to over P2-billion. The boxing icon has P1.185-billion net in his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN).

According to Pacquiao, he had already paid $8.35-million in taxes from his fight purses in 2008 and 2009, citing documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States.

The incumbent congressman from Sarangani Province’s original tax liability was P2.26-billion but has increased to P3.29-billion due to surcharges and other penalties.

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