Pacquiao gets tax reprieve

MANILA - The Supreme Court stopped the Court of Tax Appeals from collecting P3 billion (S$85 million) cash bond to P4 billion surety bond from boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee in exchange for lifting of warrant of distraint and levy and garnishment by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

"Now, therefore, extending indefinitely and until further orders from this Court (1) respondent CTA (first division) its agents, representatives or persons acting in its place and stead, are hereby enjoined from implementing its April 22 resolution and the July 11 resolution insofar as it requires petitioners to either deposit a cash bond in the amount of P3,298,514,894.35 or to post a surety bond in the amount of P4,947,772,341.53 as a condition for the suspension of collection of deficiency income taxes," the high court third division said.

The high court, meanwhile ordered the Tax Court to proceed with dispatch resolving Pacquiao's petition questioning the Bureau of Internal Revenue's tax collection action against him.

The same ruling also stopped the BIR from implementing the warrant of distraint and levy against Pacquiao. The couple has until August 17 to post a cash bond worth P3,298, 514,894.35 or a surety bond in the amount of P4,947,772,341.53.

Otherwise, the CTA will set aside its April 22 resolution, which ordered the suspension of collection of the Pacquiaos' alleged tax liabilities worth P3.29 billion.

The tax court in its April 22 ruling granted the urgent motion filed by Pacquiao to lift the warrant of distraint and levy and garnishment as well as the collection of taxes.

However, the Tax Court ordered Pacquiao and his wife to deposit a cash bond worth P3,298,514,894.35 or post a GSIS bond or a bond from other reputable surety company accredited by the Supreme Court, in the amount equivalent to one and one half (1 ½) of the amount being collected or P 4,947,772,341.53 within 10 days upon receipt of the resolution. The 10th day is May 2.

Pacquiao did not post a bond, instead, he filed a partial motion for reconsideration last Tuesday telling the tax court that the condition is "impossible."

The boxing champ's camp urged the Tax Court to either remove the bond payment condition or at least reduce the amount.

His tax liability was P2.2 billion. According to the BIR, the bond was based on the updated amount including surcharges and penalties.