Corona tax liability may be higher than P120-M - BIR
MANILA, Philippines - Dismissed chief justice Renato Corona may be slapped with a higher tax liability as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) continues to build a case against him, the BIR chief said Thursday, September 13.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said the civil aspect of the tax evasion case filed by the agency against Corona could result in a liability higher than P120.5 million since they have yet to include Corona's dollar accounts in Banco de Oro (BDO).
She said the tax bureau has also not included in the case Corona's testimony during his impeachment trial and all other pieces of evidence submitted to the impeachment court that can give a better picture of the extent of the former chief justice's wealth.
“We received certifications from all the banks except BDO,” Henares said.
In August, the BIR filed P150.68 million tax evasion cases against Corona, his daughter Ma. Carla Castillo and son-in-law Constantino Castillo III for allegedly failing to truthfully disclose their taxable incomes for various years.
Corona alone was assessed an income tax liability of P120.5 million after he failed to disclose all of his assets in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) from 2002 to 2010.
Corona was removed from office in May for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.
In its complaint filed before the Department of Justice, the BIR said there was discrepancy between Corona's declared income and net worth.
This meant he earned more than what he had declared, the BIR noted.
Further, the agency said Corona did not declare two real properties -- a condominium unit in Makati City, which he bought for P3.6 million in 2004, and a property in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, which he bought for P9.16 million in 2005.
The BIR also said that Corona did not declare his dollar accounts in his SALN. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales alleged Corona's dollars amounted to $10 million to $12 million. Corona claimed he held only $2.4 million in dollar deposits and P80 million in peso deposits.
The BIR meanwhile said that Carla failed to file her income tax return in 2010, the year she acquired a property worth P18.33 million in La Vista, Quezon City. Her husband declared only P1.93 million income from 2005 to 2009, but was able to acquire properties worth P25.5 million, the BIR added.
Carla's tax liability was P9.93 million, while her husband's was P20.25 million, according to the BIR.
The tax bureau could not complete its assessment because BDO refuses to turn over Corona's dollar account details.
The BDO said Corona revoked the waiver he signed authorizing the opening of his accounts.
The BIR and the bank are now embroiled in a legal debate on the matter after BDO filed a petition for declaratory relief before the Makati Regional Trial Court.
"There's a case now with the RTC Makati that the BDO filed [against] the BIR to find out if they have the legal obligation to send us the certificate,” Henares said. - Rappler.com