BIR sues gold trader in P2.7-B tax caseBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The glitter of gold on Thursday led the taxman to another trader selling the yellow metal whose prices in the world market have soared over the past few years.
A gold trader based in Guadalupe, Cebu City, was charged in the Department of Justice with evading taxes amounting to P2.7 billion.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said Junrie Tenorio, who was on the list of traders selling gold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, was accused by the central bank of selling P3.95 billion worth of gold from 2005 to 2009, but he did not file any income tax.
Tenorio is the sixth gold trader whom the BIR has charged with tax evasion since April. The gold traders allegedly have a total tax deficiency of P8.25 billion.
The BIR estimated Tenorio’s income tax deficiency for the five-year period at P2.7 billion, inclusive of surcharges and interests.
The gold trader is facing five counts of attempted tax evasion, 15 counts of failure to file quarterly income tax returns and five counts of failure to file annual income tax returns.
The BIR also filed charges of tax evasion against Avelino Aw-yong, an Iloilo City-based wholesaler and retailer of office supplies and equipment.
Aw-yong is the owner of Iloilo Izeem Commercial, which counts different government agencies, offices, schools, universities and other private institutions as its customers.
The BIR said Aw-yong declared sales of only P5.87 million in 2009 and P6.39 million in 2010, but third-party information showed that he received income payments of P20.33 million in 2009 and P23.43 million in 2010.
The BIR computed Aw-yong’s total income tax deficiency for 2009 and 2010 at P18.12 million, inclusive of surcharge and interest.
Tenorio and Aw-yong were both charged with violating Sections No. 254 and No. 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code.
The penalty for violating Section 254 is a fine of P30,000 to P100,000 and imprisonment of 2 to 4 years, while the penalty for violating Section 255 is a fine of at least P10,000 and imprisonment of one to 10 years.
Other gold traders
In April, the BIR filed tax evasion charges against four gold traders identified as Sylvia Chua Cantoria of Caloocan City, Diomedita Canonigo of Parañaque City, and Ronald Castro and Felonila Caluag, both of Meycauayan, Bulacan province.
They allegedly owed the government about P4.76 billion in taxes from gold sales between 2005 and 2009.
Castro and Caluag have gold trading businesses in Marilao, Bulacan; Cantoria in Trece Martires, Cavite province; and Canonigo in Talisay, Cebu province.
Virgilio Ipapo Ocampo, a Bulacan-based gold trader, was also charged in November with failing to pay more than P804 million in income taxes from 2005 to 2008. With a report from Inquirer Research