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BIR goes after husband of singer-actress Donna Cruz

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:57 AM May 03, 2013

Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III and wife Donna Cruz. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The husband of singer-actress Donna Cruz, a Cebu City-based ophthalmologist, has been charged with tax evasion by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for allegedly failing to report the correct information on his tax returns for 2009 to 2011.

Charged by the BIR in the Department of Justice was Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal III who, the revenue agency said citing third party information, received P29.14 million in professional fees between 2009 and 2011 from PhilHealth alone but declared only P4.72 million for the three-year period.

The BIR said Larrazabal should have registered as a value-added taxpayer and filed the required quarterly VAT returns as his earnings were well above the threshold required to register as a VAT taxpayer.



Top Cebu eye doctor

The BIR computed Larrazabal’s tax deficiency for the three-year period at P21.14 million.

Larrazabal is a prominent Cebu eye doctor whose family owns the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital and University.

The BIR, meanwhile, also filed criminal cases against three of its revenue officers for allegedly helping a Manila-based real estate company evade taxes in the amount of P169.83 million.

Charged were Vicente Velario, Joseph Macuha and Noradel Mendoza, the revenue officers who examined the books of accounts and accounting records from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009, of Philmay Property Inc.

They were charged with violating Section 253 of the National Internal Revenue Code, or willfully aiding Philmay evade taxes by not putting down the correct information on its tax returns.

Other cases


The BIR also filed tax evasion charges against Philmay and its corporate officers: president Ong Seet-Joon, treasurer Rafael Morales, corporate secretary Jonathan Ong, sales and marketing department head Benjamin Lira, and accountant Michelle Reyes.

Philmay holds office in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Velario is currently assigned at BIR Revenue Region 4 in San Fernando City, Pampanga, while Macuha and Mendoza are assigned at Revenue Region 5 in Caloocan City.

The BIR said Philmay declared a P50.64-million loss in its income tax return for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. Velario, Macuha and Mendoza were sent to examine its books. The three allegedly made it appear that Philmay’s tax deficiency amounted to only P499,206.53.

An agreement form was completed on July 9, 2010, with the three revenue officers saying that an audit was conducted and the tax deficiency amounted to only P499,206.53. Philmay paid the taxes through the BIR’s electronic filing system on July 27 and 30, 2010.

On investigation, the BIR commissioner learned the initial assessment of the three revenue officers actually amounted to P51.96 million.


Paid up

The BIR said it learned that Philmay had paid its creditor, Maybank Philippines Inc., P61.18 million with interest payments amounting to P47.6 million.

Further investigation showed Philmay is an affiliate of Maybank and that the loan was a related party transaction. Malayan Banking Berhad owns 99.99 percent of Maybank and 39.99 percent of Philmay.

Philmay also claimed a deductible expense amounting to P3.21 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, representing salaries and wages. The BIR said the company should not have claimed the expense as a deduction as it failed to withhold taxes on the salaries and wages which should have been done monthly.

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TAGS: Cebu, Donna Cruz, Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal III, Philhealth, Tax evasion
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