FALSE: Ex-BIR chief Kim Henares ‘speaks up’ on computation of ABS-CBN’s taxes

FALSE: Ex-BIR chief Kim Henares ‘speaks up’ on computation of ABS-CBN’s taxes
The video does not contain a statement or admission from former Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares about ABS-CBN's taxes

Claim: Former Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Kim Henares spoke up and seemingly admitted having a hand in wrongly computing the taxes of broadcast network ABS-CBN, which is in the middle of controversy surrounding the renewal of its franchise.

A 4-minute video on YouTube uploaded by the channel Showbiz Fanaticz on June 7 carried the title, “EXCLUSIVE: Ex-BIR Chief KIM HENARES UMAMIN NA! TAX ng ABS CBN MALI ng COMPUTATION?| KIM YARI SA NBI!” (Exclusive: Ex-BIR chief Kim Henares confesses! ABS-CBN’s tax computation was wrong?! Kim would be done for at the NBI or National Bureau of Investigation.) 

This video was embedded in an article with a similar title published on website pinasdailynews.xyz on June 8, and in an undated article with a similar title published on website gmaentertainment.org. 

The featured or thumbnail image of both videos state that the NBI (spelled as “NBO” on the image) and the BIR would be investigating Henares “tungkol sa sabwatan ng tax cases ng ABS-CBN!?!” (about collusion with ABS-CBN on its tax cases).

These posts were flagged by Facebook’s Claim Check dashboard for verification. 

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The video does not contain a statement or admission from Henares about ABS-CBN’s taxes. 

It also did not present official government releases or news reports to support its claims. It only cited posts, comments, and reactions from social media about the ABS-CBN tax issue.

In addition, as of writing, there are no news reports yet on either the NBI or BIR investigating Henares in connection with ABS-CBN’s tax issue. Searching on Google about the claim yields only the same videos and posts that contain the claim. None of these are from reputable sources or government websites.

Moreover, Henares was BIR chief from 2010 to 2016, while the years covered in allegations on ABS-CBN’s taxes, as presented in a House hearing in late May, were from 2017 to 2019.

The video cited a YouTube user who the narrator said is in favor of investigating Henares to explore “kung paano raw nakalusot at tila kinakatwiran ngayon ni Kim Henares na tila nagkamali sila ng computation patungkol sa taxes na binayaran noon ng ABS-CBN (how it was allowed, and Kim Henares is reasoning that they apparently got the computation wrong with regard to taxes paid before by ABS-CBN).”

The YouTube user being referred to uploaded a video about Henares and ABS-CBN on June 7, entitled “KIM HENARES PALUSOT PA MALI DAW ANG COMPUTATION NG TAX NG ABS-CBN – DDS SEAMAN.” 

The YouTube user pointed out that there was a complaint from an ex-BIR employee who alleged that the taxes of Dunkin’ Donuts – owned by the Prieto family, who also owns the majority shares of broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer – had been “computed wrong.” There was a complaint filed against Henares by a former BIR examiner in 2014 that is related to the computation of Dunkin’ Donuts’ tax deficiency.

From there, the YouTube user argued that this could also be the case for ABS-CBN’s taxes. “Palusot ‘nyo na lang iyan na mali ang compute kasi nabubuking kayo…. Itong si Henares talaga, kasabwatan ito ng ABS-CBN. Kasabwatan din ng mga malalaking negosyante para ang tax na babayaran, kaunti lang,” the YouTube user said. (It’s your excuse that you computed wrong only because you got caught. This Henares is ABS-CBN’s accomplice, as well as of big businesses so that they only pay low taxes.)

In a hearing on February 2020, a BIR official told the Senate that ABS-CBN has fully complied with tax requirements, and has paid at least P14.398 billion from 2016 to 2019.

Rappler also rated as false a related claim about ABS-CBN’s taxes that said the network’s effective tax rate in 2018 was at negative 5%. – Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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