BIR files tax evasion complaint vs Rappler before DOJ
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) a complaint for tax evasion against Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) and its officers.
Facing a complaint for violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) specifically for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax and for deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in its annual income tax return (ITR) and value added tax returns (VAT) for 2015 are RHC president Maria A. Ressa, and RHC treasurer James C. Bitanga.
Based on the complaint, RHC purchased common shares from Rappler Inc. worth P19, 245,975.00. Then, it issued and sold Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to two foreign firms worth P181, 658,758.67.
BIR said RHC used the same common shares it purchased from Rappler Inc. as the underlying share of the PDRs for profit and transmitted economic rights to the PDR holders.
BIR explained that RHC is subject to income tax and VAT, being a dealer in securities. However, the annual ITR and VAT returns for 2015, according to the BIR does not reflect any IT and VAT from the PDR transaction.
“As consequence of its acts and omissions, the aggregate tax liability of RHC amounted to P133,841,305.75 broken down as follows: IT-P91,320,481.08 and VAT-P42,520,824.67,” the BIR said in its complaint.
Ressa meanwhile called the complaint “ludicrous,” as she urged the BIR to “check its own records.”
“This is clear intimidation and harassment. The government is wasting its energy and resources in an attempt to silence reporting that do not please the administration,” Ressa said in a story carried by Rappler on the filing of the complaint. /muf
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