DUAL-listed fruit canner Del Monte Pacific Ltd. (DMPL) denied reports alleging irregularities in respect of taxes assessed on, and collected from, its subsidiary Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI).
“For the first time in DMPI’s long corporate existence, we heard about a controversy involving absurd tax assessments on the company for 2011, 2012, and 2013 totalling P30 billion,” DMPL said in a filing to the local stock exchange late Friday.
“For 93 years that it has been operating in the Philippines, DMPI has been a loyal corporate citizen and has been diligently paying its taxes,” DMPL said.
Reports earlier said that a plunder complaint was filed in June with the Office of the Ombudsman against Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Ceasar Dulay, Deputy Commissioner Gaudencio Mendoza Jr., Assistant Commissioner Teresita Angeles, and 15 other BIR executives, allegedly for reducing the tax liabilities of DMPI, as a result of which the government is said to have lost P29 billion in potential revenues.
According to the complaint, DMPI was allegedly taxed P21 billion for year 2011, but when Dulay assumed office, the tax was reduced to only P14.99 billion after a supposedly anomalous reinvestigation.
Likewise, it was alleged that for year 2012, DMPI only paid P20 million for a tax assessment worth P3.43 billion, and that for 2013, the tax was purportedly reduced to P30.3 million from the assessed amount of P5.2 billion.
“These assessments appear outrageous when compared to DMPI’s revenues during those years,” it added.
DMPI said it paid P236 million in 2011 for an audited taxable income of P678.3 million; P408.9 million in 2012 for a taxable income of P1.56 billion; and P534.9 million in 2013 for a taxable income of P1.83 billion.
“On the other hand, the amount of income taxes paid by the company is shown to be correct and reasonable on the basis of its audited taxable income,” DMPL said.
“Del Monte Philippines trusts that this announcement has shed light on the matter and stands ready to fully cooperate in any government inquiry,” it added.
DMPL is the first Philippine-based company to be listed on two stock exchanges, and be approved by local regulators to sell dollar-denominated securities.