BIR raps advertiser for tax evasion

BIR raps advertiser for tax evasion

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) today filed a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice against MARISSA EDUARDO LAUDE (LAUDE) for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax, and deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in her Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for taxable years 2008 and 2013, in violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended (Tax Code).

LAUDE is a Filipino engaged in the business of advertising under the trade name TIMSON ADVERTISING with business address at 275 A Jose Abad Santos Street, Little Baguio, San Juan City.

The case against LAUDE stemmed from a preliminary investigation conducted by the BIR on her alleged perpetration of tax evasion schemes.

Based on the information and documents gathered in the course of the investigation, it was discovered that LAUDE made several investments during taxable years 2008 and 2013 amounting to P80.62 million. LAUDE invested P30.00 million with Foundations Int’l Const. Corp. in 2008. She also invested P0.625 million with First Paramount Holdings 888, Inc., and P49.99 million with Timson Securities, Inc. in 2013.

Records from the BIR, however, showed that LAUDE declared that she only earned P68,100.00 in 2008, and NONE in 2013.

A comparison of the documents and information at hand clearly showed a discrepancy between LAUDE’s expenses and her declared income as the amount of her investments far exceeded her reported income for the subject years. Further, the amount representing the said discrepancy was not reflected or declared in any of the ITRs which LAUDE filed and thus, constitutes unreported income.

As a result of her acts and omissions, LAUDE was sued for an aggregate income tax liability covering taxable years 2008 and 2013 amounting toP47.66 million, including surcharges and interests, broken down into: 2008 – P23.32 million; and 2013 - P24.33 million.

The case against MARISSA EDUARDO LAUDE is the 245th filed under the RATE program of the BIR under the leadership of Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares.

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PDIC to pay depositors of the closed Cavite Rural Banking Corporation starting May 21

PDIC to pay depositors of the closed Cavite Rural Banking Corporation starting May 21


The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) will start servicing the deposit insurance claims of depositors of the closed Cavite Rural Banking Corporation on May 21, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Servicing of claims will be conducted on May 21 and 22, 2014 at the bank’s Head Office premises located at M.H. del Pilar St. cor. Kiamzon St., Silang, Cavite and at the premises of the Bank’s Branches at Buho, Amadeo and Poblacion, Amadeo, respectively. Depositors are advised to proceed to the branch where they maintain their accounts.

Depositors with validated deposit balances of P50,000.00 and below, with complete mailing address found in the bank records or updated through the Mailing Address Update Form, and without any outstanding obligation with the bank do not need to file claims.

Depositors whose accounts have balances of more than P50,000 and who have outstanding obligations with the closed Cavite Rural Banking Corporation regardless of type of account are required to file their deposit insurance claims. The announcement on the claims settlement operations of Cavite Rural Banking Corporation is posted at the Head Office and the branches and on the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph.

When filing deposit insurance claims, depositors are advised to personally present their duly accomplished Claim Form, original copy of evidence of deposit such as Savings Passbook and Certificate of Time Deposit, and two (2) valid photo-bearing IDs with signature of the depositor. Depositors may also file their claims through mail and enclose the same set of document requirements.

Depositors who are below 18 years old should submit either a photocopy of their Birth Certificate issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or a duly certified copy issued by the Local Civil Registrar as an additional requirement, with the Claim Form signed by the parent. Claimants who are not the signatories in the bank records are required to submit an original copy of a notarized/authenticated Special Power of Attorney of the depositor or parent of a minor depositor. 
The procedures and requirements for the filing of deposit insurance claims are posted in the PDIC website, www.pdic.gov.ph. The Claim Form and format of the Special Power of Attorney may also be downloaded from the PDIC website.

Depositors who are not able to file their claims during the claims settlement operations period may submit their claims either through mail to PDIC or personally at the PDIC Office, 4th Floor, SSS Bldg., 6782 Ayala Avenue corner V.A. Rufino Street, Makati City starting June 2, 2014.

In accordance with the provisions of the PDIC Charter, the last day for filing deposit insurance claims in the closed Cavite Rural Banking Corporation is on May 9, 2016. After this date, PDIC as Deposit Insurer, shall no longer accept any deposit insurance claim.

The PDIC said that all valid claims will be paid. For deposits to be considered valid, it must be recorded in the bank’s records and must have evidence of inflow of funds, based on the results of PDIC examination. PDIC, as Receiver, has the authority to adjust the insurance rate on the unpaid interest offered by a bank if this is deemed unreasonable.

For more information, depositors may contact the Public Assistance Department at telephone numbers (02) 841-4630 to 31, or e-mail at pad@pdic.gov.ph. Depositors outside Metro Manila may call the PDIC Toll Free Hotline at 1-800-1-888-PDIC (7342).

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126 PROJECTS SUBMITTED FOR FUNDING UNDER THE PHILIPPINES-ITALY DEBT FOR DEVELOPMENT SWAP PROGRAM

126 PROJECTS SUBMITTED FOR FUNDING UNDER THE PHILIPPINES-ITALY DEBT FOR DEVELOPMENT SWAP PROGRAM

In response to the Call for Proposals launched last July 2, 2013, 126 proposals from various organizations all over the country were received by the Department of Finance and the Italian Embassy under the Philippines-Italy Debt for Development Swap Program.

 “We are very thankful and delighted with the overwhelming response of interested organizations and various government units to our call for proposals. DOF is confident that strong projects will emerge from these proponents and will maximize the benefits of the debt swap with the Italian Government,” Secretary Cesar Purisima said. 

Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno likewise expressed a similar view as he says, “We are extremely pleased that the call has raised such a strong interest on the part of many LGUs, NGOs and other proponents”, adding further: “This proves that the idea of converting the outstanding Italian bilateral credit into funding for new development projects – focused on environmental protection and poverty alleviation in the Philippines – was a winning one”.

Out of the 126 proposals which made it to the deadline, 53% were for Luzon, 16% in Visayas, and 31% in Mindanao. Likewise, 57% were large projects (above P25M to P35M), 28% were medium projects (P10M to P25M), and 15% were small projects (below P10M).

The Department of Finance and the Italian Development Cooperation of the Embassy of Italy, with the representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Italian and Philippine Civil Society Organizations, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) have been reviewing the proposals. Successful proposals are expected to be announced by July this year.

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ASEAN execs, finance chiefs finalize ASEAN bloc launch

ASEAN execs, finance chiefs finalize ASEAN bloc launch

 

Manila, Philippines (May 20)—Finance ministers from Southeast Asia gathered here for the 10th Asean Finance Ministers’ Investors Seminar (AFMIS) to discuss current economic issues and put the finishing touches on the framework for regional integration that begins in 2015.

The seminar, held at the Peninsula Manila and which gathered the brightest minds in banking and finance, also served as a curtain raiser for the World Economic Forum on East Asia—a business event that will be held for the first time in the country on May 21 to 23.

Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, who opened the morning session together with Myanmar Finance and Revenue Minister U Win Sheing, reiterated the benefits of ASEAN integration.

While the region is composed of  fast growing economies, he said, ASEAN will even be bigger with integration.

“Inter-ASEAN trade is growing rapidly. In the past three years, the growth of inter-ASEAN trade has outpaced the growth of world trade. That just shows the benefits of a more connected, more harmonized ASEAN, which, as a single country, would have the third largest population and a GDP of over $2 trillion,” Purisima said.

The Philippines’ finance secretary cited the tourism sector, expected to be one of the sectors to significantly benefit from an integrated regional economy.

“ASEAN, if it were one country, had 85 million tourists last year, outperforming France,” Purisima said.

During the summit, ASEAN finance ministers held a plenary session, to which private sector representatives were invited to respond. The latter were composed of the following: PIMCO Senior Vice President and Emerging Markets Portfolio head Roland Mieth, Citigroup Managing Director and Asia-Pacific Government Affairs Head Catherine Simmons, HSBC Co-Head of Asian Economic Research Frederic Neumann, Morgan Stanley Co-Head of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking Dieter Turowski, Standard Chartered Group Executive Director, and CEO Asia Jaspal Bindra.

Breakout panel discussions on energy, infrastructure, and tourism sectors were set in the afternoon and participated in by 24 government economic heads and prominent business personalities in the region.

The AFMIS also served as a venue for the finance ministers of the region to follow up on the results of the recent ASEAN Summit in Myanmar. Purisima said ASEAN leaders talked about the 2015 ASEAN integration and issues and opportunities that will come out of a more integrated ASEAN during the Summit.

Also discussed during the AFMIS was the Roadmap for Monetary and Financial Integration of ASEAN (RIA-Fin) that would key in financial integration within the region.

Among the programs being fine-tuned are the ASEAN Financial Integration Framework (AFIF), the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework (ABIF) and the ASEAN Payments and Settlements Systems.

Discussions also focused on the development of the ASEAN capital markets, while work is underway for the harmonization and mutual recognition of rules and regulations in the capital markets of member countries. The ASEAN Capital Market Infrastructure Blueprint already provided the guidelines for an integrated access, clearing, custody and settlement, in support of the ASEAN Trading Link.

The implementation of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) was also up for discussion. AIF is an integral component of ASEAN’s efforts to strengthen regional physical connectivity and narrow the infrastructure development gap in the region.

Customs cooperation was also up for discussion. Particular topic was the full implementation of the outstanding initiatives, including the finalization of agreements and protocols, to support the establishment of a single market and production base under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The finance ministers were set to thresh out double taxation concerns and withholding tax issues in the proposed AEC.

Regional cooperation in dealing with international tax evasion and to collaborate with external parties to further enhance regional dialogue among regulators to complete a network of bilateral tax treaties also was up for discussion.

The AFMIS is expected to come up with an action plan to promote ASEAN as an attractive investment destination and to intensify policy cooperation and coordination in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community 2015.

The AFMIS was organized by the Department of Finance with support from Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered Bank.

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DOF-RIPS ups the ante in graft investigation

DOF-RIPS ups the ante in graft investigation

Number of graft complaints up 17% vs. previous administration

 

The Aquino administration has so far seen a 17% rise in the total number of complaints filed by the Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) program of the Department of Finance (DOF) over 4 years compared to that in the previous administration which spanned 7 years.

 

RIPS has implicated 94 government officials and employees, who are involved in 87 cases under the incumbent administration.

 

Among the cases filed, 69 cases were filed before the Ombudsman during the current administration, while 17 cases were filed before the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and one case was endorsed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for filing of formal charge.

 

Since its creation in 2003, RIPS has filed a total of 161 cases against 207 respondents.

 

Counted among those charged in the latest cases of RIPS are a Porsche-driving Bureau of Customs (BOC) messenger and a high-ranking officer in the BIR.

 

Paulino C. Elevado IV, a BOC messenger, was found guilty of Serious Dishonesty by the Office of the Ombudsman. Other counts against him were falsification of public documents and dishonest declarations in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).

 

Meanwhile, Zenaida Chang, BIR assistant commissioner of Financial and Administrative Services, was relieved of her post on orders of the Office of the Ombudsman. She was found guilty of Serious Dishonesty and Gross Neglect of Duty. Chang acquired significant assets which were valued much higher vis-à-vis her alleged salary. The Ombudsman also ordered the filing of forfeiture proceedings to recover her ill-gotten assets.

 

Other dismissals recently were meted out on spouses Marlon and Emma Pascual, revenue officers in BIR, for acquiring assets that are disproportionate to their salaries and Eduardo Wong, acting chief of the BOC Assessment Division in Cagayan de Oro, for the same reason.

 

On the other hand, Quezon City Assistant Regional Director Marina De Guzman incurred a three-month suspension without pay for Simple Neglect of Duty. De Guzman failed to include significant assets in her SALN.

 

Five counts of perjury put Ana Marie Maglasang, a former customs examiner, behind bars. She was found to have excluded certain assets in her SALN. Such a prison penalty meted out is the first seen by RIPS.

 

Jessie Carlos, a tax specialist at the DOF, was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman also for Grave Misconduct and Gross Neglect of Duty for not declaring his house and lot in Manila, a private vehicle, and business interests in his previous SALNs.

 

Carlos, whose total income from 2001 to 2011 grossed Php2,460,156.00 was found by the Ombudsman to have purchased, in cold cash, two farm lots in Tanauan City, Batangas for Php4,000,000.00 in 2010.

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