The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday slapped a criminal complaint against actor Richard Gutierrez with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly submitting falsified tax documents and perjured affidavits to debunk the P38.57-million tax evasion case filed against him in April.
Gutierrez is accused of submitting a falsified annual income tax return for 2012 and quarterly value added tax returns for second, third and fourth quarter of 2012 in violation of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 171 of the same law.
"The attached returns were deceptively made to appear to have been stamped received by Revenue District Office No. 42- San Juan City," the BIR said in a statement.
According to the BIR, Revenue District Office (RDO) No. 42 – San Juan City and the Document Processing Division of BIR Quezon City both certified that R Gutz Productions Corp. had no VAT return filed for the said quarters.
"Also alleged receiving officer Renato Agana denied having received the subject returns saying that the initials appearing on the said returns are not his initials and not even close to his initials," the BIR said.
"Furthermore, after his examination of the said documents, it appeared that they were forged and that the rubber stamp marks were not among those being used by RDO No. 42-San Juan City."
The actor also allegedly violated Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code for submitting perjured affidavits during the preliminary investigation of his tax evasion case on July 18.
Further, the BIR said Gutierrez attempted to make it appear, in support of his defense in the tax evasion complaint, that he or another entity has filed an annual income tax return for 2012 and quarterly VAT returns from second to fourth quarter of the same year.
Reached for comment, Gutierrez's lawyer, Mariglen Abraham Garduque, assured that her client would face the charges.
"However if the alleged falsified documents are the VAT and ITR returns which Richard attached to his counter affidavit as far as Richard is concerned said documents have original stamped received from the concerned RDO of the bureau," Garduque told GMA News Online.
"At any rate, Richard will just answer as soon as he receives the copy of the complaint."
Gutierrez earlier insisted that R Gutz did not underdeclare its tax liabilities for 2012, as he presented sales declarations for these periods: first quarter: P311,111.12; second quarter: P28,330,707.08; third quarter: P8,243,529.29; and fourth quarter: 3,030,588.18.
“Incontestably, the accumulated amount of the foregoing declarations covered the total purchases of P39,915,935.75 claimed by the [BIR]. If there is any discrepancy, the difference is only .08-centavos,” his counter affidavit stated.
The actor said he was deprived of due process, alleging the BIR failed to give him the opportunity to contest, reconcile or pay the alleged tax deficiencies.
He added the tax deficiency assessment issued against him had no prior approval and authorization from the BIR Commissioner or his duly authorized representatives.
"[T]his case should not have [been] filed in the first place. Aside from the sheer fact that it lacks basis in fact and in law, the condition precedent before filing any legal action before this jurisdiction has not [been] complied with yet," the counter affidavit read.
Gutierrez also lamented the tax complaint already "destroyed" his image and "tarnished" his reputation knowing he has to deal with allegations of being a tax evader.
"I do not know if this was filed with malice or just a mistake but I just hope that this will not happen again to another taxpayer as the psychological trauma is unbearable," he said. —KBK/KG, GMA News