PHILIPPINES - The taxman has Pacman against the ropes amid fears that he might be going broke, given his lavish lifestyle and propensity to dole out cash to friends, political supporters, hangers-on and even random strangers.
Manny Pacquiao was 14th on the list of highest-paid athletes last year, with estimated earnings of US$34 million, according to Forbes magazine.
He was considered the wealthiest member of the House of Representatives, based on his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). He reported a net worth of P1.77 billion in 2012, up from P1.13 billion in 2010.
But Pacquiao said he had to borrow more than P1 million so he could deliver aid to victims of Supertyphoon "Yolanda" in Leyte and Samar provinces late last month.
In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a levy on Pacquiao's US bank accounts in an effort to recoup more than US$18 million in alleged tax liabilities from 2006 to 2010, documents obtained by the Inquirer showed.
US notice of tax lien
The IRS levy came after Pacquiao was issued a separate "notice of federal tax lien" in the amount of US$18,313,669. The notice was issued by the Glendale office of the IRS in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 22.
Pacquiao did not answer phone calls and text messages when reached by Inquirer Mindanao on Thursday.
Pacquiao's former accountant, Michael Joseph Cabuhat, said the levy could jeopardize his planned bout in Las Vegas in April because the IRS could block ticket sales and similar activities related to the prize fight.
"Any compensation under your name will be taken out because there is an order of levy. So if the fight is next year, it will earn. The IRS may levy the earnings right away," said Cabuhat, chief financial officer of VisionQwest, a California-based accountancy firm hired by Pacquiao in 2010 but was eventually fired the following year.
"They have to make an arrangement to settle this or at least take care of it through an installment agreement or negotiation or compromise. Otherwise, the April fight is in danger," Cabuhat said.