MANILA, JULY 6, 2007
(STAR) By Edu Punay - Boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao loves his fast and flashy cars, but a Porsche sport utility vehicle (SUV) that he brought home from Los Angeles, California after beating Mexican Eric Morales last year is now the subject of a tax review by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said import records of Pacquiao’s Porsche Cayenne Turbo would be reviewed to determine if proper taxes and duties have been paid through the bureau’s Post Entry Audit (PEA) program.

Pacquiao reportedly bought the Cayenne before his fight with Morales in the US last year.

The five-seater German vehicle, which cost $93,700 or about P4.5 million at the time of purchase and has top track speed of 171 miles-per-hour, reportedly entered the country in July last year.

“I think it would be best for Manny to voluntarily submit the documents of his imported car for examination. I will call him up. I don’t think we will have a problem anyway since he can afford to pay more taxes if he really has to,” Morales told reporters.

Pacquiao and his broker could be penalized or even face criminal charges if it would be determined that they tried to evade paying the proper taxes by misdeclaring the vehicle’s actual value.

“In fairness to Manny, I don’t think he was aware of the formula or computation for duties and taxes to be paid. The broker had a better understanding of the process,” Morales said.

He said the review of the documents of the boxer’s Porche will be completed next week. Sources identified the broker of Pacquiao’s Porsche as Benjamin Valic.

“We can’t say yet if there was a problem in the importation. This is because we have not yet come to Manny’s Porsche in our audit because we have only started with the records for 2004, while his SUV was imported in 2006. But since this is a special case, we will pay special attention to this one,” he explained.

The alleged non-payment of proper Customs duties and taxes for the imported SUV surfaced earlier this week when the bureau started conducting the post entry audit of all shipments in the last three

years as an alternative measure to improve revenue collections.

For imported vehicles that arrived at the Port of Subic during the first quarter of this year alone, Morales revealed they already have recorded P382 million collectible from unpaid taxes and duties.

Morales earlier mobilized the PEAG to audit bulk shipments of oil imports for the past three years in a bid to make up the P13 billion deficit posted by the bureau in the first semester of the year.

Demand letters for importers have already been sent out for P384 million in taxes and duties for motor vehicle shipments during the first six months of the year.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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