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SC finds transport firm, president liable for tax evasion

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the tax evasion convictions of Kingsam Express, Inc. (KEI) and its president for failing to pay deficiency income tax for the taxable years 2008 and 2009 worth more than P4 million and P10.8 million, respectively.

In a 14-page resolution dated Sept. 7 and made public on Oct. 14, the SC First division said the firm and its president “willfully” attempted to evade the tax obligations.

“The president and responsible officer, knew of KEI’s purchase of bus units in 2008 and 2009 and yet he deliberately omitted the transactions in the corporation’s income tax returns and financial statements,” said the High Court.

The ruling affirmed the findings of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA), which sentenced KEI President Samuel S. Santos to up to four years of imprisonment and a fine of P100,000 for the four indictments against him.

The tax court said noted that the transport firm and Mr. Santos underdeclared their income for 2008 and 2009 by at least 620% and 650%, respectively.

Under the country’s revenue code, taxpayers are required to file an accurate quarterly income tax return and a final or adjustment return.

The law also provides the internal revenue commissioner with the authority to assess a taxpayer’s tax deficiencies based on the “best evidence obtainable.”

KEI argued that the CTA’s ruling should be overturned since Mr. Santos was not properly identified by government prosecutors in the case.

The High Court disagreed saying the firm’s president himself admitted to the tax tribunal that he was in charge of information on the tax returns.

“The state can resort to administrative and judicial remedies to collect taxes from erring taxpayers which comprise both civil and criminal suits,” it noted.

“Thus, the State, through the CIR, can directly file a  criminal complaint to enforce the collection of taxes.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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