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BIR cannot ignore BSP gold trade mine, sues 3 more traders for 5.9 B tax evasion

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Considering that the billions of sales transactions and taxes involved were too “large” a sum of money to be ignored, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) today filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) separate complaints against three (3) more gold traders – AURELIO S. BARING (Baring), REX CHUA CO HO (Co Ho) and REMEGIO B. DESCALSOTA, JR. (Descalsota, Jr.) – for committing acts constituting violations of Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

It can be remembered that last 28 April 2011, the tax agency filed with the DOJ tax evasion cases against four (4) gold traders involving P4.76 billion in deficiency income taxes spread in various years from 2005 to 2009.

Like the four (4) previous respondents, the abovementioned three (3) were included in the lists given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sometime in 2010 to the BIR. Said lists contained the names of individuals who had gold and/or silver transactions with the BSP.

Investigation by the BIR revealed that the three respondents sold (refined) gold and some silver to the BSP in various years from 2005 to 2009 amounting to billions of pesos. A certification of the total sales and net payments received by each of them and copies of the Letters of Delivery and Sale detailing the number of pieces and the weight of the gold/silver sold they signed were obtained by the BIR from BSP.

And despite receiving taxable income from their transactions with the BSP, they either failed to file their Tax Returns or grossly under-declared their gross income by more than 30% in various years from 2005 to 2009. They likewise failed pay their income taxes due on the same taxable years.

Baring was charged with five (5) counts of attempt to evade or defeat tax, fifteen (15) counts of failure to file Quarterly Income Tax Returns, and five (5) counts of failure to file Annual Income Tax Returns and to pay tax.

He was assessed deficiency income taxes for five (5) taxable years in the aggregate amount of P2.22 billion, inclusive of surcharges and interests, broken down as follows: P555.35 million – 2005; P649.43 million – 2006; P5179.04 million – 2007; P823.21 million – 2008; and P16.11 million – 2009.

Co Ho, on the other hand, was sued for five (5) counts of attempt to evade or defeat tax and five (5) counts of willful failure to supply correct and accurate information in his Annual Income Tax Returns (ITRs) resulting to gross under-declaration of taxable income of more than 30% tantamount to fraud or fraudulent returns.

He was assessed deficiency income taxes for five (5) taxable years in the aggregate amount of P3.1 billion, inclusive of surcharges and interests, broken down as follows: P169.22 million – 2005; P309.54 million – 2006; P844.97 million – 2007; P706.74 million – 2008; and P1,067.71 million – 2009.

Lastly, Descalsota, Jr. was also slapped with five (5) counts of attempt to evade or defeat tax and five (5) counts of willful failure to supply correct and accurate information in his Annual Income Tax Returns (ITRs) which, like Co Ho, led to substantial under-declaration of taxable income by more than 30% tantamount to fraud or fraudulent returns.

He incurred deficiency income taxes for five (5) taxable years in the aggregate amount of P592.8 million, inclusive of surcharges and interests, broken down as follows: P153.34 million – 2005; P136.18 million – 2006; P117.47 million – 2007; P117.95 million – 2008; and P67.86 million – 2009.

The cases against AURELIO S. BARING, REX CHUA CO HO, and REMEGIO B. DESCALSOTA, JR. were the forty-third (43rd), forty-fourth (44th) and forty-fifth (45th) filed under the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program of the BIR under the leadership of Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares. (reytdlc)

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