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Is Kim Henares one of PNoy’s kabarilan? Is the Bureau of Internal Revenue using Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao to bolster its image?
These are just some of the issues BIR Commissioner Kim Henares addressed in her interview with Mareng Winnie Monsod in “Bawal ang Pasaway.” Below is a recap of their conversation.
BIR vs. Pacman
Now that boxing champ Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. is nearing, the BIR reminds Pacquiao to properly settle his tax dues from the much-awaited bout.
This reminder prompted some netizens to think that the BIR is going overboard in performing their duties and is just using the issue to gain clamour and attention from the public.
Henares firmly believes, however, that they are not abusing their powers and creating a big fuss out of Pacquiao.
“Ina-assess [lang] namin siya for tax liability. [Iyong] worldwide income [niya kasi] ay dapat naka-reflect sa Pilipinas,” she said.
In addition, the BIR wants Pacquiao to submit supporting documents that will prove that he has paid the proper taxes in the United States Internal Revenue Service during his previous fights in America. Unfortunately, according to Henares, Pacquiao has not furnished them a copy of the documents, up to now.
Mareng Winnie describes the strategies the BIR employs in promoting responsible payment of taxes as the “takutan system.” This refers to BIR’s various campaigns in increasing tax collection by chasing after tax evaders through RATE (Run After Tax Evaders), tax penalties, and tax evasion cases filed against prominent personalities.
According to Henares, the BIR is already working on 364 tax evasion cases since 2010. Of these cases, 200 are still under the Department of Justice for evaluation and determination of sufficient grounds, while 100 are in the courts for decisioning. Only three cases have been closed and given a verdict.
Henares said that the implementation of penalties are just their way of showing the public how the agency is very serious in establishing a proper tax collection system in the country.
“Kung walang penalty, [magmumukhang] hindi kami seryoso,” she said.
She also shared how she dreams of a time when Filipinos will all learn to pay their taxes wholeheartedly and without pressure.
“Kung wala kaming maco-collect na penalty, mas masaya kami. Ibig sabihin, sumusunod sila,” she said.
What was Henares’ relationship with PNoy before she was assigned to head the BIR?
Henares said that he never knew PNoy on a personal level. It was only in September 2009, when she was asked to be a part of his campaign team for the 2010 Presidential Elections, that she had the chance to meet the then senator personally.
“Kilala ko lang siya bilang congressman and senator,” she said.
After PNoy won the elections, he assigned Henares to head the BIR. The two eventually got close and bonded over the shooting range.
“Siya ho ang [naging] teacher ko sa shooting,” Henares shared. She only became interested in the sport when she was already in the BIR and the President offered to be her personal tutor. -Gerald Vista/BMS/JJ