MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Straight from his win against American boxer Brandon Rios in Macau, Filipino boxing icon and Sarangani Rep Manny Pacquiao came home and found himself in another battle.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ordered Pacquiao’s bank deposits frozen due to an alleged P2.2-billion tax liability.
BIR said the former eight-division world champion misdeclared his income tax returns for 2008 and 2009.
BIR accused Pacquiao of failing to report his dollar winnings from his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, and Oscar de la Hoya in 2008; and Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Pacquiao however argued he already paid taxes on those winnings in the United States. His lawyers said the Philippines and US have a tax treaty that allows citizens of both countries to avoid double taxation.
In a statement on Tuesday, November 26, Pacquiao said BIR “ignored information given by Top Rank and HBO and insisted I earned more.”
His lawyers added that the tax assessment issued by BIR was well more than his net worth.
Pacquiao said the freeze order is preventing him from helping communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Visayas.
He hit back, saying his money was hard-earned, not stolen. “It’s not PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) or DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program).” – Cherrie Regalado/Rappler.com