WHILE Manny Pacquiao has redeemed himself in the ring, his tax battle has only intensified after a court ordered his bank deposits frozen over a P2.2 billion tax case.
The Court of Tax Appeals has frozen Pacquiao’s bank accounts as Bureau of Internal Revenue lawyers chase after him for back taxes from 2008 and 2009, the Manila Bulletin and sister publication Tempo reported citing information from sources.
The prize fighter and congressman was said to have failed to declare in his income tax returns for that period the amount he had paid to the Internal Revenue Service in the US.
The BIR’s assessment apparently covers Pacquiao’s fights against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and Oscar de la Hoya of the US, Ricky Hatton of the UK and Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.
The P2.2 billion represents the back taxes which the BIR claims he owed, plus interests and penalties.
According to the report, the Court of Tax Appeals had handed down the decision as early as two weeks before Pacquiao's fight against American Brandon Rios in Macau.
Pacquiao’s lawyers had argued that remittances to IRS were not included in his returns, because a Philippines-US Tax Treaty stipulates that income tax paid by Filipinos in the US is creditable against his income tax liabilities here.
The 34-year-old Pacquiao, a representative of Sarangani province, won for the first time in two years on Sunday, claiming a unanimous decision over Rios to end a two-fight losing streak.
It was in June 2012 that BIR first demanded from Pacquiao a payment of P2,200,310,745.23. Pacquiao earlier this year had filed an appeal, refusing to be taxed twice after already paying $8,414,531 (around P395,500,000) in taxes in the US.
Pacquiao’s camp also stated that he has remitted to the BIR some P12 million for P114 million earnings from local endorsements.