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 BIR files 'biggest' tax evasion raps vs real estate billionaire

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PostSubject: BIR files 'biggest' tax evasion raps vs real estate billionaire   Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:31 am

A businessman who supposedly defrauded the government of about P5.5 billion is facing tax evasion charges after the Bureau of Internal Revenue accused him of failing to correct the amount of taxes and wrongfully classifying land sales.

The BIR on Thursday filed before the Department of Justice a complaint against Macario Lim Gaw, who supposedly entered wrong information in his 2007 and 2008 income tax returns. The bureau also claimed that he failed to file returns for value-added tax in 2008.

Gaw used three tax identification numbers (TINs) to skirt laws on paying taxes, BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said.

Securing multiple TINs is criminally liable under Section 275 of the National Internal Revenue Code.

In a news briefing, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the amount of taxes involved is the "biggest" ever under the BIR's Run After Tax Evasion Program.

Henares said Gaw purchased 10 parcels of land in 2007 for P4 billion. Throughout the succeeding eight months after the purchase, he sold the property for P8 billion.

Instead of classifying the sale of the 10 lots as an ordinary asset sale, Gaw declared the transaction as capital asset sale.

The sale of ordinary assets carry higher taxes compared with capital assets.

"[Gaw] paid only 6-percent Capital Gains Tax amounting to P9 million in 2007 and P418 million in 2008 to evade payment of the 32-percent income tax and 12-percent VAT due to sale of lands classified as ordinary assets," Henares said.

The sale of the lots should have been taxed by about P5.5 billion for the years 2007 and 2008, Henares added.

The BIR is summoning Gaw to pay the amount. But even if he pays for it, he is still not stripped of his criminal liabilities. "The tax liability is addressed if he pays. But the criminal liability stays," according to Henares.

The Aquino administration vowed to run after tax evaders and smugglers. After filing its fist tax-evasion complaint against pawnshop owner William Villarica on July 15, the government said it would file one case each week against tax cheats and smugglers.

"This will be the beginning of a series of successive filing of cases of anti-smuggling and anti-tax evasion. As you know, one of the priorities is to intensify anti-smuggling and anti-tax evasion, and one best way is to intensify and maximize the filing of cases," said Justice Secretary Leila De Lima
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