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A massive deficiency

The government will collect all taxes due, including those that the Marcos family owes to the state, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Tuesday in response to a report on the Manila Bulletin that quoted anonymous officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue saying that the Marcos heirs could not be compelled to pay their P203-billion estate tax.

“Neither are official statements of the BIR,” Dominguez said. “The DOF and the BIR are intent on collecting ALL (sic) taxes due.”

The finance chief’s remarks is one of the Duterte administration’s clearest rebukes of claims absolving the Marcos family of their humongous estate tax liabilities.

Tax deficiencies have been among the issues that has been hounding the campaign of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who aside from the unpaid estate taxes of his family amounting to P203-billion, has other income tax convictions that have naturally set off a slew of petitions challenging his eligibility to run for public office.

While Dominguez has said that the BIR is “collecting and demanded payment” from the Marcos estate administrators, he also admitted that collecting these unpaid taxes “may take time,” adding that the Marcos family “does not take steps to settle and pay because pending litigation.”

The Marcos family has been fighting their estate tax liability despite the Supreme Court Entry of Judgement in GR No. 120880, which former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said, declared that the estate tax liability of the Marcos estate became ‘final and executory’ as of March 9, 1999.

Such a massive tax deficiency from the high profile family of the man who according to surveys is the frontrunner to be the country’s next president, needs to be settled by both the Marcoses and the BIR as soon as possible, as it leaves a bad taste in the mouth for Filipinos who have been paying their taxes without fail, especially with looming deadline for the filing annual income taxes.

The BIR has to collect to restore confidence that the system that supposedly exempts no one can be manipulated by the rich and powerful and the Marcoses should pay up if they intend to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to claims of love and service for the country.

The Filipino people are on the losing end of this situation that has denied the nation of P203-billion in taxes. When will the BIR that has demonstrated its ability to collect taxes without mercy from Juan dela Cruz show the same tenacity when it comes to the taxes of the super-rich?*

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May 2022
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