DOF: Crooks in our midst to get Al Capone treatment
The Department of Finance (DOF) plans to also file tax evasion charges against employees and officials found to have acquired ill-gotten wealth.
“There is a presumption in the law that when one accumulates wealth beyond his lawful income, then there is a presumption that it is ill-gotten and we can file a forfeiture case under Republic Act No. 1379,” Finance Undersecretary Bayani H. Agabin told Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez in a recent meeting.
In this regard, “under our tax laws, all income, whether legally or illegally acquired, is subject to tax, and therefore, those who have acquired ill-gotten wealth should pay taxes for the illegally acquired income,” added Agabin, who oversees the DOF’s anti-corruption arm Revenue Integrity Protection Service (Rips).
Agabin said his office has already requested for the income tax returns and documents of officials and employees being probed.
“If you recall the case of Al Capone, the authorities filed tax evasion cases against him. That is what we are studying,” Agabin said. Capone, one of the most popular mob bosses in organized crime history, was convicted for tax evasion among the many cases filed against him. Tax evasion has, since then, became an easy route to pin down criminals.
Besides the administrative cases filed by Rips before the Civil Service Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman, with the latter having the power to initiate forfeiture proceedings against public officials, the DOF can also tap the Bureau of Internal Revenue to pursue tax evasion cases.
Last week, the DOF said about 70 employees from its revenue agencies whose assets exceeded their annual pay would undergo lifestyle checks before the end of the year.
“For instance, there is one that we are investigating—in 1996, his annual salary was P80,000, he was able to buy a lot worth P40,000. Then in 1997 he reported that his annual salary was P126,000, he was able to buy a lot for P150,000. His annual salary is not even enough to pay for that lot,” according to Agabin.
He said the DOF also found that some employees owned expensive condominium units and cars despite their meager salaries.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.