Actor has 4 TINs, accountant says
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - May 29, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Actor-director Zoren Legaspi may face another tax case apart from the P4.45-million tax evasion charge filed against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) earlier this month.

His accountant revealed during the preliminary investigation hearing at the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday that Legaspi has been using four tax identification numbers (TIN), which BIR lawyers immediately cited as illegal.

Legaspi did not attend the hearing due to a prior commitment and instead sent his accountant, Flora Capili. 

Capili told investigating Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano about the “discrepancies” in the tax records of the actor from companies that paid his services.

She said they found out from the certifications that Legaspi used four different TINs.

“We are verifying from the companies why there are different TIN numbers. They should have followed what was written in the documents submitted to them,” Capili said during the hearing.

Another form of tax evasion

BIR lawyer Emmanuel Ferrer Jr. pointed out that using several TINs for a taxpayer is prohibited under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) because it may be used as a tool to avoid payment of correct taxes.

For instance, a taxpayer who earns P500,000 and above should be taxed 32 percent for his income. Having different TINs would enable the taxpayer to pay lower taxes, he said.

With this, Ferrer asked the prosecutor to include Capili’s statements in the records.

However, Mariano rejected the request and had the statements removed from the records, saying the accountant was testifying on her own personal belief without a lawyer.

“Yes, she may be testifying on her own personal beliefs but she is not assisted by a lawyer. If she makes admission, that would be inappropriate…I believe Mr. Legaspi needs a lawyer…The good accountant can be an expert concerning taxation but she is not a lawyer,” he explained. 

Mariano then gave Legaspi up to June 6 to submit his counter-affidavit and be represented by a lawyer.

The BIR, in a complaint filed last May 8, accused the actor of “willful attempt to evade or defeat tax, and deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in his Income Tax Returns for taxable years 2010 and 2012.”

It alleged that Legaspi evaded payment of taxes worth P4.45 million in these two years.

ASSISTANT STATE PROSECUTOR STEWART ALLAN MARIANO BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CAPILI DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EMMANUEL FERRER JR. FLORA CAPILI INCOME TAX RETURNS LEGASPI MARIANO MR. LEGASPI
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