Actor Richard Gutierrez cleared of tax evasion charge
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has cleared actor Richard Gutierrez of tax evasion, falsification of public documents and perjury charges.
Gutierrez and his company RGUTZ Productions have been accused of violating the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).
According to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Gutuierrez has a tax liability of more than P39 million.
The actor allegedly submitted fake Annual Income Tax Return as well as Quarterly Value Added Tax Return (QVATR).
The actor, however, argued that the filing of the complaints before the DOJ was premature because there was no exhaustion of the procedures in establishing tax due and deficiencies which is in violation of his right to due process.
He said the complaint was filed directly before the DOJ without notice of informal conference as required under BIR’s memorandum circular.
Gutierrez added that there were no Preliminary and Final Assessment made, making the complaint against him void.
In dismissing the complaints against Gutierrez and his company, the DOJ said BIR’s complaint was based on third-party sources investigation.
The DOJ resolution noted that television station GMA has withheld taxes from the actor based on the certification attached to Gutierrez’ counter-affidavit.
“Likewise the subject returns submitted by respondent [Gutierrez] showed that RGUTZ filed its returns and accordingly paid its taxes,” read the DOJ’s resolution.
The DOJ noted that BIR filed a separate complaint for falsification and perjury, trying to make it appear that Gutierrez filed a tax return and that there was a “notice” contrary to the claims of Gutierrez.
“It appears that the BIR tried to address the procedural issues raised by respondent [Gutierrez] by sending the said final notice to him when it [BIR] already filed the case against the latter.”
Both resolutions were prepared by Assistant State Prosecutor Christine T. Perolino.
It was recommended for approval by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Miguel F. Gudio Jr., chief of the DOJ’s Anti-Fraud Division.
Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon signed and approved both resolutions. /gsg
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