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BIR: Cojuangco may claim tax deductions

Rappler.com
Businessman Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco may be entitled to income tax deductions in relation to the UCPB shares he lost following a final Supreme Court ruling awarding said shares to government

San Miguel chairman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. (R) and president Ramon Ang at the diversified conglomerate's annual stockholders' meeting in 2013. Photo courtesy of San Miguel

MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco may be entitled to income tax deductions in relation to the UCPB shares he lost following a final Supreme Court ruling awarding the shares to government.

“He has to prove that he paid taxes. He should report that he declared his earnings from the shares,” Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said in Filipino.

Henares added Cojuangco must first return the shares to government before he could claim any tax deductions. “He has to prove that he returned the shares.”

On Wednesday, July 10, the Supreme Court ruled with finality that government owns Cojuangco’s shares in United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), saying the shares were bought using public funds and are therefore owned by the state.

The shares, representing 10% of UCBP (diluted to around 7%), were given to Cojuangco as “compensation” for negotiating the acquisition by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) of a 72.2% stake in the bank, said the high court.

The high court said Cojuangco’s stake was part of the PCA stake, which was acquired using coconut levy funds. The funds came from the tax that the administration of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos imposed on coconut farmers from 1973 to 1982.

The high court ordered that the UCPB shares and all dividends declared with it “shall be reconveyed to the government” and “shall be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.”

View timeline: The San Miguel-coco levy saga

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a 27% stake (diluted to 24%) in San Miguel Corp. (SMC) held by 14 coconut oil milling firms controlled by Cojuangco and his associates was also purchased using coco levy funds and belonged to the state.

In prior year, the high court ruled that a separate 20% stake in SMC that the government was also claiming belonged to Cojuangco. – Rappler.com

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