By Peter Wallace
A remarkable year 2012 was. In his time, President Fidel Ramos brought about some dramatic changes in the business environment—changes that to this day we are still benefiting from. He deregulated the key sectors—sectors that are now vibrant and competitive: telecom (there would be few cell phones today if PLDT had retained its monopoly), power (we’d still be having blackouts), oil and banking.
Incredibly enough, the Republic of the Philippines counts over a century of existence but only recently made its first successful conviction of a tax evader. The landmark case against businesswoman Gloria V. Kintanar, who has been ordered arrested by the Court of Tax Appeals, hinged on her having evaded P15 million in back taxes on commissions she earned from her multilevel marketing business. Kintanar blamed her accountants for her failure to file income tax returns in 2000 and 2001. The tax appeals court, in a decision upheld by the Supreme Court, ruled that the businesswoman knew her legal obligations but that she “nevertheless, voluntarily, knowingly and intentionally failed to file the required returns.”
People who are quick to recite verses in the Bible and invoke the high heavens, more often than the rest of us, always make me very wary in my gut. More so, when his biblical incantations are in relation to purely secular issues. That he is a man of the cloth, or a pound-for-pound king, or a politician only makes it worse for these people have the bigger, sacred duty to God, to their “flock” and to the nation to abide by the process of finding the truth, instead of just imploring heavens or crying political harassment.
By Ricardo J. Romulo
The case recently filed by Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares under the revitalized Run-After-Tax Evaders (RATE) program of the government against a tax practitioner recalls a tax evasion conviction, reported in the New York Times, that was handed down by the United States District Court in Las Vegas more than 10 years ago involving a former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lawyer.