Manny Pacquiao will face yet another tough battle when he comes home after winning the welterweight title against American Timothy Bradley.
This time, it’s against the taxman.
Pacquiao, who won the 12-round match on Sunday (Saturday night in the US), was guaranteed to earn $20 million or P880 million.
The ring icon is already facing tax charges before the Court of Tax Appeals. But he had said he will present evidence to the Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner (BIR) that his winnings in his past fights were already subjected to 35 percent tax in Las Vegas.
Before Pacquiao’s bout with Bradley on Sunday, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares had reminded the Filipino champ to submit all documents to prove that he paid the proper taxes in the US. Otherwise, he will have to pay the taxes here.
Henares warned that Pacquiao will face more problems if he fails to make a proper tax report on his latest winnings.
When asked about a supposed meeting between President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Pacquiao regarding the boxer’s tax woes, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. did not comment. He, however, said Pacquiao, like any other taxpayer, should settle his tax obligations.
“[The] law takes its due course,” the Palace official said in a text message to The Manila Times.
Coloma also reminded the public to file their income tax returns before the April 15 deadline.
“Whoever fails to submit and pay their income tax will be fined 25 percent of their total income and additional 20 percent interest per year,” the official warned.
Taxes paid to the bureau comprise 70 percent of the government’s annual income. This year, it was estimated that taxes could reach P1.4 trillion, higher by 19 percent than that of the previous year.
Coloma also congratulated Pacquiao.
Malacanang deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said winning a match is one thing for Pacquiao and paying his tax dues is another that is best addressed by the BIR.
Valte noted that the tax problems confronting Pacquiao is mainly a concern of the bureau.
Like Coloma, Valte congratulated Pacquiao’s “triumph,” which, she said, “further proves that as long as Filipinos pour their heart and soul into their respective fields and disciplines, they can overcome any and all setbacks and challenges that may come their way.”
“Once again, the Filipino people celebrate the victory of Congressman Manny Pacquiao, this time against Timothy Bradley, Jr. After twelve rounds, the strength and skill of our people’s champion prevailed, and he took back the World Boxing Organization Welterweight title,” she said in a statement.
Valte added that the lawmaker is an inspiration for many Filipinos who have suffered from previous calamities.
JOEL M. SY EGCO