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DOJ OKS tax evasion case vs Rappler

/ 05:11 PM November 09, 2018
A rappler employee exits its office at the Capitol Commons in Pasig on Monday, January 15, 2018 after Maria Reesa and Chay Hofilena gave a press briefing to media as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) orders the revocation of its license to operate. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

A rappler employee exits its office at the Capitol Commons in Pasig on Monday, January 15, 2018 after Maria Ressa and Chay Hofilena gave a press briefing to media as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) orders the revocation of its license to operate. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the filing of tax evasion case against online news outfit Rappler.

The DOJ’s approval came almost four months after the case was submitted for resolution.

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In a resolution released Friday, the DOJ affirmed the complaint against Rappler Holdings Corp. (RHC), and its President Maria Ressa and accountant Noel A. Baladiang for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax and willful failure to supply correct and accurate information under Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

The complaint against Rappler was filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) last March. Based on the complaint, RHC and Ressa failed to indicate in RHCs 2015 tax returns the total gain of almost P162.5-million, which was due to the issuance of  Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDR) to Washington DC-based NBM Rappler LP, a unit of North Base Media and Omidyar Network Find LLC (Omidyar).

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A PDR is a security which grants the holder the right to the delivery or sale of the underlying shares of stock. It derives its value from an underlying asset. Its value depends on the value of its underlying asset, which is the shares of stock of a corporation.

The BIR said that on various dates between 2014 to 2015, RHC purchased common shares from Rappler, Inc. worth PHP19,245,975. Then, it issued and sold PDRs to two foreign firms worth PHP181,658,758.

BIR said RHC used the same common shares it purchased from Rappler as the underlying share of the PDRs for profit and transmitted economic rights to the PDR holders

The DOJ said the company is liable for non-payment of PHP108,457,950.67 — broken down into PHP91,320,480.99 in income tax inclusive of surcharge and interest and PHP17,138,469.68 in value-added tax (VAT) excluding surcharge and interest.  /kga

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TAGS: court, DoJ, Local news, Nation, national news, news, Philippine news updates, Rappler, Tax evasion
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