BIR’s Top 500 list unfair to tycoonsBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tycoon Andrew Tan has reason to complain that his name was excluded in the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s list of the top 500 individual taxpayers in 2011.
He paid P60.1 million in taxes for all his sources of income that year, more than what Kris Aquino, the President’s youngest sister, paid in income tax which amounted to P49.8 million.
Tan and the other billionaires were implicitly projected as tax cheats by the BIR for not being included in the “Top 500.”
The country’s billionaires may have paid little by way of their income tax returns (ITR), but they paid huge amounts through the withholding taxes on their earnings from their own companies.
Tan, who owns the multibillion peso Megaworld Properties, was taxed by the government on his cash dividends from his stockholdings, salaries from companies he owns, and earnings from director’s and consultant’s fees from his own companies.
It would have been impossible for Tan to have cheated the government since the BIR always watches over the earnings of his companies.
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It would also have been impossible for the Lopezes, who own the biggest radio-TV network ABS-CBN, where Kris Aquino is a talent, to cheat the government on their income taxes.
Lopez patriarch Oscar and his brother Manuel paid P37 million and P11 million, respectively, in income taxes, for 2011.
Like tycoon Andrew Tan, the Lopezes surely paid the government huge amounts in withholding taxes.
Is the BIR telling us that presidential sister Kris earned more than the owners of the TV network where she works?
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Why does Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes have to wait until Monday to decide whether he should resign or not?
If Brillantes has decided to resign because, as he claims, the Supreme Court has rendered the poll body useless by issuing restraining orders against it, he should resign; period.
He says he will have to meet first with President Benigno Aquino III before he tenders his resignation.
Of course, P-Noy will talk him out of it.
If he’s talked into staying put by the President, he will compromise the independence of the poll body.
Brillantes must remember that although he was appointed by the President, his allegiance to the appointing power ceased after he was sworn in because the Comelec is a constitutional and independent body.
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The Court of Appeals justice who comes to the office in luxury cars to the embarrassment of fellow justices, who are themselves corrupt, got his good fortune from issuing TROs.
TRO means temporary restraining order, a source of graft for most justices in the appellate court and many lower court judges.
An appellate court’s TRO, which orders persons or entities to refrain from carrying out a policy or decision while it is under question, costs millions of pesos to the one petitioning it.
If you don’t believe me, ask people who have petitioned the CA for a TRO.
Especially those who have transacted business—for what do you call it?—with the CA-Cebu branch.
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