BIR chief says she needs to clarify this with senator-judges
MANILA, Philippines – Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares is set to appear before the impeachment court on Thursday, January 19, but she could not guarantee if she could produce the income tax returns of Chief Justice Renato Corona. She would need authorization from the President.
Henares was subpoenaed by the Senate on January 17 and was asked to bring the following records:
- Corona’s income tax returns from 1999-2010
- list of sales for Bellagio I, Burgundy and La Vista properties for a specific year
The prosecution will use the documents to prove their allegation that Corona has ill-gotten wealth as he has allegedly acquired 45 properties, prices of which ranged from P2 million-P14.5 million. As Chief Justice, Corona earns less than a million annually.
Corona said out of the 45 properties, he owns only 5.
Henares told reporters that according to Sec 71 of the Tax Code, the President would first have to give his go-signal on the release of the tax records.
Sec 71 states: “After the assessment shall have been made, as provided in this Title, the returns…shall constitute public records and be open to inspection as such upon the order of the President of the Philippines, under rules and regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the Commissioner.”
The Bureau of Internal Revenue chief said she would ask the senator-judges for a “clarification” on this rule.
Henares, who received the subpoena on January 18, said she would also ask the impeachment court for more time to prepare the documents requested.
Aside from Henares, those who have been ordered to appear before the court on Thursday are the city assessors of Marikina, Taguig, Makati and Pasay, the cities in Metro Manila where Corona’s reported real estate properties are located. – Rappler.com