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article imageManny Pacquiao claims bank deposits frozen for unpaid taxes

By Leo Reyes     Nov 26, 2013 in Sports
Right after his return to the Philippines from Macau, China, where he secured a unanimous decision victory against American Brandon Rios, Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao claims his bank deposits have been frozen by authorities.
The reported freeze order by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Pacquiao's bank accounts prevented him from withdrawing money from his account deposits which he intends to use in buying relief goods for typhoon victims in central Philippines.
He said he had to borrow money from friends to keep his commitment to help the victims of the typhoon.
A powerful typhoon code-named Haiyan (Yolanda in Phl) battered central Philippines last Nov. 8, killing more than 5,000 people and destroying properties and government infrastructure along its path.
Pacquiao was in the final days of his training when the killer typhoon struck. He wanted to visit the affected communities including Tacloban City where thousands of residents perished and washed away by giant tsunami-like waves or storm surge out in the sea.
But Trainer Freddie Roach prevailed upon the eight-division world champion to postpone his visit until after the Nov. 24 fight with Rios in Macau in order to avoid any fight distraction that could imperil his fight.
“I could not withdraw a single centavo from my own money,” Pacquiao said. “I could not use my money to help especially those who are victims of the calamity.” he added.
But BIR commissioner Kim Henares said only P1.1 million out of the P2.2 billion disputed tax deficit has actually been frozen.
"I can't understand..what we are talking about is P1.1 million that was garnished." the BIR Commissioner said.
"So what I think is that the P1.1 million-deposit is so little compared to his income and wealth. We don’t know if the banks are lying or what," she added.
The tax cases against Pacquiao stemmed from the revenue generated by the Filipino champ during his fights in the US. Bob Arum, his promoter said corresponding taxes due the US government have been remitted to the IRS.
But the BIR wanted proof that such payment was indeed remitted with the submission of original documents. Here's Arum's statement on the tax issue:
“Filipino authorities confirmed that Manny is not required to pay double tax. If Manny paid U.S. taxes for fights and endorsements that occurred on U.S. soil, he is not required to pay double taxes in the Philippines.
"For each of Manny’s fights that occurred in the United States, including those in 2008 and 2009, Top Rank withheld 30% of Manny's purses and paid those monies directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Top Rank has deposit confirmations for each payment. Top Rank has done the same for all U.S. endorsements it has facilitated on Manny's behalf.
"Top Rank submitted copies of the EFT deposit acknowledgements to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as proof of payment. The BIR received the documents but directed Manny to obtain “certified” documents directly from the IRS itself.
"As I am sure people appreciate, obtaining certified copies of documents from the IRS takes time. Manny made the formal request to the IRS and we have every expectation that the necessary documents will be furnished to the BIR very soon."
Meanwhile the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) where the decision on Pacquiao's appeal is still pending, clarified that no warrant of garnishment has bee issued by the court.
The CTA has issued a “status quo ante” order last week to restrain the parties to engage in any legal action while the case is pending with the court.
CTA is expected to rule on the case on Dec. 5.
More about Boxing, Manny Pacquiao, bir philippines, Internal revenue service, top rank promotions
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