Duterte: No to staggered settlement of Mighty’s tax liabilities
President Duterte has thumbed down a proposal from local cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. to settle its tax liabilities amounting to a total of P13 billion, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
“It was the President who said that he’s going to accept an offer from Mighty. As a matter of fact, Mighty wants to pay in staggered (basis) of P1 billion,” Aguirre told reporters last week.
“But the President doesn’t like staggered payments like in the case of Jack Lam,” he said, referring to the Macau-based gambling tycoon accused of defrauding the government of billions of pesos in unpaid taxes for his online casino business.
The homegrown cigarette maker wanted a compromise agreement with the government to avoid criminal prosecution.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) last month brought a P9.6-billion tax evasion case against Mighty owner Alexander Wongchuking in the Department of Justice. The BIR has yet to file charges for the rest of alleged tax deficiencies of Mighty, which amounted to P13 billion.
Aguirre had already formed a panel to handle the case against Wongchuking and three other officials of the Bulacan-based cigarette company.
Aguirre, however, said a settlement between the BIR and Mighty was still a “possibility.”
“It’s a possibility that there could be a compromise (agreement) on this because the law specifically allowed compromise payment of (unpaid) taxes,” he said.
Mighty has been accused by the BIR and the Bureau of Customs of skirting the payment of appropriate excise taxes by using fake stamps on its tobacco products.
The BIR has sued officials of Mighty for unlawful possession of articles subject to excise tax without payment of the tax and for possessing false, counterfeit, restored or altered stamps.
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