DOJ affirms tax raps vs top doctor

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has lodged tax-evasion charges against Dr. Leo Olarte, former president of the Philippine Medical Association.

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In a 19-page resolution, the Justice department indicted Olarte for seven counts of violations of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) for his tax deficiencies for taxable years 2006 to 2012.

Olarte had openly slammed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for its tax- awareness advertisement against doctors, lawyers and other professionals.

The DOJ found probable cause to file the charges before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) for the doctor’s failure to file income tax returns (ITRs), supply correct and accurate information, pay tax, withhold and remit tax and refund excess taxes withheld on compensation.

“Thusly, for not filing and paying correctly his income taxes from compensation income, he has incurred deficiency taxes from 2006 until 2012… This being so, he is criminally liable for violation of Section 255 of the NIRC of 1997 for each taxable year, from 2006 to 2012, or a total of seven counts,” the resolution stated.

It was approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano and Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Dacanay, chairman of the DOJ’s Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Task Force.

The case has undergone study and preliminary investigation by Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano, who had found probable cause.

In the charges of the BIR before the DOJ, Olarte’s income tax deficiencies from 2006 up to 2012 were: P319,072.16 (2006); P42,305.72 (2007): P38,808.19 (2008); P250,985.85 (2009); P191,301.01 (2010); P214,278.98 (2011) and P299,522.57 (2012)

The BIR complained that while Olarte received income payments totalling close to P5 million from 2006 to 2012, he failed to file any income tax return and pay the corresponding taxes for those years.

It was cited that failure of his employers to withhold taxes from him still makes Olarte liable for violations of Section 255 of the NIRC.

The DOJ, however, dismissed the BIR’s plea to also charge Olarte for non-payment of value-added tax (VAT).

“[T]he complaint presented nary a single piece of evidence to sustain such finding that he should be held liable for VAT on income earned from the exercise of his profession. BIR merely alluded to receipts/revenues the existence of which revolves only in the realm of doubt,” the department said.

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