7 FIRMS SUED FOR P9.65-BILLION TAX EVASION

Manila, May 22, 2003 - - Revenue officials have taken seven companies that 
cheated on their taxes to court and allegedly successfully evaded paying a 
combined P9.65 billion (US$183 million) worth of taxes.

Chief taxman Guillermo Parayno said this was just the start of an ongoing 
campaign to force companies to observe the habit of paying their taxes from 
now on or risk the shame of being identified publicly as a tax evader.

The biggest of these alleged tax evaders in this case did not pay a single 
centavo to government although it was later assessed to have tax 
liabilities amounting to P4.316 billion.

Cellpage International is a cellcard distributor based in Libis, Quezon 
City whose president is Jimmy S. Gao.

In a case filed by the Bureau of Internal REvenue before the Department of 
Justice today, Parayno said Gao did not declare any of its sales to the 
bureau and did not pay income tax or the value added tax for fiscal year 2001.

Gao's company distributes Motorola and Ericsson cellphones as well as 
pre-paid cards of such telecommunications carriers as Globe Telecoms and 
Smart Communications.
Ackers Philippines Inc., also a cellcard distributor based in Sampaloc, 
Manila, paid a mere pittance of the P3.285 billion in taxes it allegedly 
owed the government for fiscal year 2001.

In its complaint, the BIR said Ackers Philippines did not pay 99.94 per 
cent of the tax due the government for the period by grossly understating 
its sales records and by this method successfully evaded paying income tax 
and VAT.

Airconditioning contractor L.M. Camus Engineering Corporation also 
allegedly owed the BIR a total P630.164 million for non-payment of tax for 
the years 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Synergy Distribution Inc., another cellcard distributor with Richmond C. 
Ong as president, also grossly understated its sales and paid the 
government only a token.

Parayno said Synergy Distribution did not pay 99.54 per cent of the tax due 
the government totaling P615.430 million in this case.

TID International, also a cellcard distributor operated and owned by 
Chinese-Filipino nationals, grossly understated its sales and did not pay 
taxes totaling P410.074 million.

Goldwell Construction supply, whose main business is cellcard distribution 
and owned by Wilson Go-Uy, vastly underdeclared its sales and owed the 
government a total P378.532 million.

Eastpoint Marina, a real estate developer whose president the BIR 
identified as Efrain T. Pelaez, owed the government P18 million for 
non-payment of capital gains tax because the company failed to declare the 
sale of a condominium unit.

Parayno has already closed down the operations of Synergy Distribution 
based on a closure order issued last April 29.

"Taxpayers need to keep in mind that we will send tax evaders to jail. We 
encourage tax payers to make the correct disclosure of their income, sales 
and purchases," Parayno said. (PNA)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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