BIR ‘happy’ with compromise Pacquiao cash bond

Buena Bernal
The CTA orders the BIR to cease and desist from collecting Manny Pacquiao's deficiency tax assessments for taxable years 2008 and 2009
GOVERNMENT INTEREST. The BIR says the CTA decision suspending BIR collection of Pacquiao's taxes but requiring him to pay cash bond protects government interest. Photo by Buena Bernal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Even though the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) granted boxing champion Manny Pacquiao’s plea to suspend the collection by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) of his alleged unpaid taxes, the CTA resolution still protects government interest.

This was according to BIR Deputy Commissioner Estela Sales, who noted that the cash bond Pacquiao was required to secure for the suspended garnishment is something the bureau is “happy” about.

“So, the court granted their motion to suspend the collection. However, it’s on condition upon the posting of cash bond…we are happy with that decision, because the interest of the government is amply protected,” she said in an interview Thursday, April 24.

Pacquiao allegedly owes the government P2.2 billion (around US$ 49.21 million*) in tax liabilities. The BIR said Pacquiao misdeclared his income tax returns for 2008 and 2009.

The BIR accused the former 8-division world champion 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.

The case before the CTA on his tax liability is yet to be resolved. The tax court on Dec 5, 2013 issued a gag order preventing Pacquiao and the BIR from disclosing to the public details of the case.

In November 2013, the BIR froze two of Pacquiao’s bank accounts containing P1.1million (around US$24,603.47*) due to the subject tax liability.

But the CTA on Tuesday, April 22, ordered the lifting of warrants of distraint and levy against Pacquiao. The warrant allows for the temporary seizure of Pacquiao’s assets until the payment of his alleged obligation to the state.

The CTA ordered the BIR to cease and desist from collecting Pacquiao’s subject deficiency tax assessments for taxable years 2008 and 2009.  

The 10-page CTA resolution made the suspension of the alleged tax deficiency collection contingent upon Pacquiao’s payment of a P3.3-billion (around US$73.8 million*) cash bond or filing of a P4.98-billion (US$110.69 million*) surety bond.

A cash bond is paid in cash, while a surety bond is promised to be paid in the future. 

Pacquiao was required to secure the bond within 10 days after he receives a copy of the CTA resolution.

“Petitioners’ interest would be prejudiced if collection pending appeal would be allowed. Thus, the suspension of collection of the subject taxes is justified,” the resolution read.

The pre-trial for Pacquiao’s case was set on June 6 by the CTA. – Rappler.com

*US$1 = P44.7033