CATS Motors under fire for tax discrepancies

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Tax officials during the previous administration discovered discrepancies between the market and retail prices of vehicles sold by luxury car importer CATS Motors Inc. (presently Auto Nation Group Inc.).

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Legal and Inspection Group, in a memorandum dated January 20, 2013, noted sizeable variances based on preliminary investigations and data submitted by an informer.

The finding didn’t prosper and The Manila Times has so far been unable to secure a comment from the bureau’s current leadership or representatives of Auto Nation.

The discrepancies between the suggested retail price and the company’s market price ranged from a low of 43 percent to a high of 75 percent based on documents obtained by The Times.

For instance, a Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 with a market price of P19.8 million was declared as sold for only P4.9 million.

“Owing to the magnitude of discrepancy between the market prices and the actual dealer’s suggested retail prices of the vehicles sold by the above taxpayer and in accordance with the provisions of Section 248 (B) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 as amended, a prima facie evidence of tax fraud exists in the instant case,” the BIR memorandum stated.

Last year, the Customs bureau also reported discrepancies in payments made by Auto Nation, claiming the company owed the government P233.6 billion in duties and taxes for 2015.

CATS Motors Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CATS Automobile Corp. (CAC), was incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 16, 1996 and it started commercial operations thereafter. The company is involved in the trading of all types of Mercedes Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep vehicles, including parts and accessories.

CATS Motors, Inc. was appointed by Daimler Chrysler South East Asia as general distributor of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge motor vehicles since November 1, 2004 and of Mercedes Benz vehicles since January 1, 2005.

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