Manny Pacquiao is hit by an assets freeze that only came to light a day after winning his latest fight with Brandon Rios.
Pacquiao has hit back at the government seemingly saying that big-time thieves in the country are better off than him.
The reaction came after news broke out that the Court of Tax Appeals’ (CTA) First Division has ordered two weeks ago that all bank deposits of the boxing icon be frozen. The order is known as a warrant of garnishment.
The boxing champion also learned only on Monday that his accounts have been frozen after her quickly returned to the country as he wanted to help the people in Visayas who were ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda earlier this month.
He was shocked to learn of the assets freeze.
In remarks published by TV5’s InterAksyon.com and made in a hurriedly-organized press conference in his native General Santos City, Pacquiao voiced his seemingly hurt sentiments and asked the BIR to unfreeze his accounts.
He said that before it happened, he did not receive any warning or a single letter from authorities.
The boxing icon also said that he does not know why he is being singled out and that the BIR claims that he earned more than what he actually did, without any evidence to back it up.
When asked how he felt about the latest development in his tax evasion case after being beaten up inside the ring which almost always gives inspiration to Filipinos, Pacquiao voiced his resentment stemming from the case filed against him by the BIR.
‘Nagpabugbog ako, kumita ako, kinuha ng gobyerno. Pero pag nagnakaw ka – wala pa akong nakitang nagnakaw ng marami, pero na-garnish lahat ng pera,’ he said.
The freezing of his assets stems from a P2.2-billion tax case filed by the BIR.
The amount includes fees and interest but Pacquiao’s camp said that the amount is unreasonable because it exceeds the boxing icon’s net worth.
Pacquiao won $28 million from fights in 2008 and 2009, the years in question in the case against him. According to reports, the boxer and congressman paid the U.S. Internal Revenue Service $8.5 million in taxes for the earnings.
Pacquiao said that he did not include records of the taxes he paid in the U.S. those years since there is a bilateral treaty between the U.S. and the Philippines that bans double taxation.
He did pay P12 million to the BIR, however, as tax for earning P114 million from being an endorser during those years.
The BIR said the amount has become demand-able and collectible since Pacquiao failed to answer the final assessment notice (FAN) sent by the agency to have him explain. The BIR said that under the tax code, Pacquiao had 30 days to reply to the notice.
However, Pacquiao said that he has tried to submit documents from the IRS to prove to the BIR that he really paid taxes in the U.S.
What is beyond him, he says, is why the BIR keeps on asking for original documents and America’s IRS does not give originals, only copies.
Pacquiao also spoke of the possibility of borrowing money just to help the victims of Yolanda.
He said that despite the assets freeze, his team is busy packing relief goods and that he will be in Tacloban by Thursday or Friday.
Meanwhile, Mrs.Henares said that the BIR has been asking Pacquiao to explain since 2010 and present documents from the IRS and not only letters from Top Rank and HBO which have written the BIR saying they paid taxes owed by Pacquiao to the U.S. government.
And since Pacquiao did not explain as far as the BIR is concerned, the agency should be paid, Henares said.
Henares confirmed that Top Rank has written to the BIR saying they paid in behalf of Pacquiao but she also said that they have waited for two years because they don’t want to be blamed if Pacquiao would lose.
Henares also said that Pacquiao knew about the case as his camp filed a case at the CTA to stop the garnishment.
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