No amnesty for tax evaders, says BIR

Posted at 01/11/11 7:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has clarified that it is not granting tax amnesty to personalities charged with tax evasion.

The BIR issued the clarification after actor Richard Gomez revealed on Saturday that he filed for a tax amnesty.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Tuesday, lawyer Estela Sales, BIR Deputy Commissioner for Legal Inspection Group, said the law is clear in stating that Gomez cannot ask for a reprieve.

“He cannot file for amnesty, the law is clear about it, no amnesty. These cases are on trial,” she said.

Gomez’ celebrity wife,  politician Lucy Torres-Gomez, on the other hand, said she believes her husband’s case will soon be resolved since they have faith in the system.

Aside from Gomez, celebrity doctor Joel Mendez has earlier been found guilty in 2 cases of tax evasion by the Court of Tax Appeals second division.

Moreover, the tax evasion case of film director and producer Carlo J. Caparas is still pending, while the tax evasion cases of Judy Ann Santos and Royal Era, the talent management company of Anabelle Rama, are awaiting resolution.

“Kadalasan kasi willful ignorance ang nangyayari. In other words, huwag tayong magbulag bulagan sa mga obligasyon natin,” Sales reminded.

Meantime, Sales explained that the BIR is not only after high profile personalities. She reiterated that the BIR is only doing its job of reminding the citizens to be responsible taxpayers.

“Declare your income. The BIR has a way of validating every service rendered/paid and sold. It is your responsibility,” she said.

On the other hand, the agency lauded the clean tax payment records of Kris Aquino, Piolo Pascual and Sharon Cuneta. –Report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News