BAGUIO CITY (PhilAmPress/PhlTodayUSA) — World boxing icon and Sarangani Congressman Manny Pacquiao has scored a technical knockout against the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) in connection with his P3-billion tax case.
This as the Supreme Court (SC), during its summer session in Baguio City, remanded the tax case filed by the BIR against Pacquiao and his wife Jinky to the Court of Tax Appeals.
The BIR has filed the tax case against Pacquiao despite of the fact that the fighting congressman has been one of the country’s top individual taxpayers for several years now, paying the government over P210 million in 2014 alone and hundreds of millions of pesos before that, much more than anyone of the country’s billionaires who are listed in the Forbes Magazine.
At the same time, the High Court’s Second division ordered the CTA to conduct a preliminary hearing on the tax case and afford the couple of their rights to due process.
As such, the SC partially granted the petition of Pacquiao and issued a preliminary injunction stopping the CTA in implementing its resolutions requiring them to deposit a cash bond.
The SC has earlier issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of Pacquiao and his wife Jinky.
“Wherefore, the petition is partially granted. Let a Writ of Preliminary Injunction be issued, enjoining the implementation of the April 22, 2014 and July 11, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Tax Appeals First Division, in CTA Case No. 8683, requiring the petitioners to first deposit a cash bond in the amount of P3,298,514,894.35 or post a bond of P4,947,772.341.55 as a condition torestrain the collection of the deficiency taxes assessed against them,” the SC ruled on Tuesday.
“Accordingly, the case is hereby Remanded to the Court of Tax Appeals, First Division , which is ordered to conduct a preliminary hearing to determine whether the dispensation or reduction of the required cash deposit or bond provided under Section 11, Republic Act No 1125, is proper to restrain the collection of deficiency taxes assessed against the petitioners,” the SC ruled.
Pacquiao filed a petition before the SC to suspend the BIR and the CTA collection of taxes from him.
Pacquiao is fighting his case against the BIR from collecting an alleged tax deficiency of over P 2.2 billion plus surcharge and interest for 2008 and 2009.
He argued that the CTA and the BIR have committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
The Pacquiaos even pleaded to SC then that they shall deposit a cash bond in the amount of Php 3,298,514,894.35 or to post a surety bond of Php 4,947,772,341.53 as a condition for the suspension of collection of taxes against them for alleged deficient income tax and VAT for the years 2008 and 2009 for having been issued by Respondent Court with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of its jurisdiction.
They also pleaded to stop “Respondent Commissioner, herrepresentatives, any of the BIR officers and/or employees, and any other person acting on behalf of Respondent Commissioner and/or the BIR, from issuing, executing, enforcing, implementing or otherwise giving effect to any Warrant of Distraint and/or Levy, Warrants of Garnishment and Notice of Tax Lien, and from attempting to collect any tax on the basis of the deficiency income tax and VAT assessments issued by Respondent Commissioner against Petitioners for the years 2008 and 2009, as well as any increments therein, and from doing any and all acts relative thereto until the decision or resolution resolving the issues in the main case become final and executory.”
They assailed the BIR after it “commenced tax collection process against Jinkee without issuing or serving a notice against her” and that it also “failed to comply with the procedural due process requirements for summary tax collection remedies under Sections 207(A) and (B) of the Tax Code when it commenced summary collection remedies before the expiration of the period for Petitioners to pay the assessed deficiency taxes.”
Meanwhile, the BIR claimed that the case was not applicable since there was no legal basis to dispense with the posting of the bond to suspend the collection of taxes against the petitioners.
“The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts, more so in the consideration of the extraordinary writ of certiorari where neither questions of fact nor or law are entertained, but only questions of lack or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion,” the BIR’s memorandum said.