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Dunkin’ Donuts franchise holder denies alleged P1.1B tax evasion

Prieto-led Golden Donuts Inc., the exclusive Philippine franchise holder of Dunkin' Donuts brand, denied on Friday allegations of tax evasion amounting to more than P1 billion in 2007.

“Golden Donuts Inc. categorically denies the accusations of tax evasion for the year 2007,” the company said in a statement.

“As a matter of fact, the tax liabilities of GDI for the said year had been settled with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as of 2012. Further, it has always been compliant with all tax laws and regulations, as evidenced by tax clearances issued by the BIR over the years,” it said.

The BIR filed a P1.1-billion tax evasion raps before the Department of Justice against four officials of Golden Donuts for “willful attempt to evade or defeat tax” and for “deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information” in its income and value-added tax returns.

The case stemmed from “confidential information” received by the BIR that Golden Donuts “made substantial under-declaration on its sales.”

A probe later supposedly found that sales of the donut maker were under declared by 39 percent.

“While GDI has yet to receive a copy of the complaint filed on Friday, it appears from the news reports that the complaint was filed based on an alleged 39-percent under declaration of sales which arose from the attribution of sales of franchises to GDI,” the company said.

All franchisees are business entities separate from GDI that are “responsible for paying their own taxes,” Golden Donuts said.

“GDI is a professionally-managed organization which has been in the food business for more than 37 years. GDI is prepared to answer the tax evasion case in the proper forum,” it said.

In a rant against media outfits ABS-CBN and the Philippine Daily Inquirer in April 2017, Duterte brought up Dunkin’ Donuts alleged tax deficiency and its ownership ties to the broadsheet.

“Inquirer ang may-ari ng Dunkin Donuts, alam mo ba iyan? At may utang iyan silang taxes. Inayos ni Kim Henares, walang binayad. Kung may binayad, kaunti lang,” Duterte said referring to the former Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner. —VDS, GMA News