Friday, October 26, 2012

Corona files counter-affidavit in response to tax evasion case

By Tetch Torres
2:03 pm | Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Originally Posted Here.

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Renato Corona filed his counter-affidavit before the Department of Justice Thursday in response to the tax evasion case filed against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Corona, accompanied by his wife Cristina, said the cases levelled against him were sending a message to the judiciary that if they would go against Malacanang, they would suffer the same fate.

“This is just a continuation of the impeachment trial months ago in which you already know what the decision was over a very political process,” Corona told reporters in Filipino.

“This case that they are filing against me has only one message – a message to members of the judiciary that they should follow MalacaƱang if they do not want what happened to the Chief Justice happen to them,” he said.

The Senate impeachment court found Corona guilty of betrayal of public trust after he admitted not indicating in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) his dollar deposits, citing the confidentiality clause under the Foreign Currency Deposit Act.

On August 30, the BIR filed a tax evasion case at the DOJ against Corona after he failed to declare P150.68 million in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALN).

Aside from the bank deposits, he also did not declare two real properties he acquired during his stint in government: a condominium unit at the Columns, along Ayala Avenue that he bought for P3.6 million in 2004 and a property in Fort Bonifacio that he bought for P9.16 million in 2005.

After examining Corona’s bank records and comparing it with his networth, Henares said they discovered a substantial disparity between the acquisition cost of the properties declared in his SALNs and the cost declared in the certificates authorizing registrations.

Using the “expenditure method,” the BIR found that Corona’s deficiency income tax liability amounted to P120.5 million for the nine-year period.

Philippines Needs to Boost Sin Tax to Win Ratings Upgrade

By Cecilia Yap & Clarissa Batino - Oct 25, 2012 7:40 PM GMT+0800
Originally Posted Here

The Philippines must pass a law increasing the excise levy on liquor and tobacco, or sin tax, to meet its goal of winning an investment-grade rating in four years, Tax Commissioner Kim Henares said.

“This is one of two measures that the three major rating agencies have identified as important,” Henares said in an interview in Bloomberg’s Manila office yesterday. “We want to correct a defective system that will increase our revenue and use the funds for health care. Once passed, we think the measure will trigger rating upgrades and positive outlook.”

Kim Henares, Philippines tax comissioner. Photographer: Dennis M. Sabangan/AFP/Getty Images Standard & Poor’s raised the nation’s credit rating twice in the past two years, bringing it to one level below investment grade in July, citing a reduced debt burden and improved public finances. The bill that seeks to boost annual collections by at least 60.6 billion pesos ($1.46 billion) and introduce an inflation-adjustment mechanism will test the resolve of President Benigno Aquino, a smoker himself, to battle some of the country’s biggest companies.

“One of the key ratings constraints of the Philippines is the low revenue mobilization relative to peers,” Christian de Guzman, a Singapore-based assistant vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, said by e-mail. “It would be an indication that the Aquino administration can leverage its high approval ratings and political capital into meaningful progress on legislative reforms.”