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article imageOp-Ed: Manny Pacquiao could lose his next fight in the US

By Leo Reyes     Dec 27, 2013 in Sports
Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao could lose every cent he expects to make in his upcoming fight in the U.S. which is tentatively scheduled for April or May possibly against unbeaten American boxer Timothy Bradley or Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez
His loss may not necessarily be against Bradley or Marquez but it could be in a battle that will take place outside the ring.
Pacquiao reportedly owes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the U.S. around $18 million in tax dues as of 2013. Read more.
According to the special report by Inquirer.net, the IRS "issued a levy on Pacquiao’s U.S. bank accounts in an effort to recoup more than $18 million in alleged tax liabilities from 2006 to 2010, documents obtained by the Inquirer showed."
Michael Joseph Cabuhat, Chief Financial Officer of Vision Quest, a California-based accountancy firm hired by Pacquiao in 2010 said the levy could jeopardize Pacquiao's April fight in the U.S. because the IRS can freeze the proceeds of the fight to satisfy the tax obligations.
Pacquiao has terminated the services of Vision Quest in 2011, an action that led into legal court battle and eventual settlement.
In the event that IRS decides to freeze the proceeds of Pacquiao's share on the revenue of the fight, the fighting congressman will return to the Philippines empty-handed and possibly with back-breaking pain and aching muscles.
“Any compensation under your name will be taken out because there is an order of levy. So if the fight is next year, it will earn. The IRS may levy the earnings right away,” said Cabuhat."
“They have to make an arrangement to settle this or at least take care of it through an installment agreement or negotiation or compromise. Otherwise, the April fight is in danger,” Cabuhat added.
But in the same Inquirer.net report, Pacquiao's new lawyer Tranquil Salvador said that the “IRS liens on his properties and bank accounts” were “vacated” (lifted) late last week.
“We have been told that the IRS liens on his properties and bank accounts were vacated on Dec. 20,” Pacquiao’s “team” told the Inquirer in an e-mail sent through Salvador.
“It means he has satisfied the requirements of the US law,” Salvador added in a text message.
If indeed the report is true, then Pacquiao must have entered into a compromise arrangement with IRS through his counsels.
Still, his court battle with BIR in the Philippines will continue to hound him and it could again become another distraction in his preparation for the upcoming fight.
Seemingly, the tax problem in the Philippines is easier to confront or resolve as the same arrangement with the IRS can be hammered out with similar compromise deals.
When all the tax issues are resolved, Pacquiao would be better off reconstituting his financial and legal management team to avoid future legal complications.
Appointing a capable and trusted financial planning manager who can work as a team with the lawyer can give Pacquiao a fresh start and ensure his financial health upon retirement.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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