ABS-CBN has no tax delinquency; ‘regularly’ paying taxes – BIR exec

MAY 23, 2020 The facade of ABS-CBN network headquarters in Quezon City. The NTC ordered ABS CBN to cease and desist from broadcasting on television and radio program ( last May 05, 2020 ) one day after the company's 25 year operating franchise expired. EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines — ABS-CBN Corp. has no tax default as it has been “regularly” paying taxes for the past years, an official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) told a House joint committee hearing on Wednesday.

In fact, BIR Assistant Commissioner Manuel Mapoy said during the public hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise that the broadcasting company has paid over P15.3 billion in taxes from 2016 to 2019.

He added that the media network giant has no outstanding delinquent account as it was able to pay deficiency taxes.

“ABS-CBN Corporation ay (is) regularly paying taxes for the past years. Na-check naman po na ‘yung dapat nilang i-withhold at na-remit naman nila sa gobyerno (The amount that it needed to withhold had been checked and it was remitted to the government),” Mapoy said.

ABS-CBN Group chief financial officer (CFO) Ricardo Tan likewise attested that ABS-CBN Corp. and its subsidiaries have paid P71.5 billion in taxes to the government in the past 17 years.

“From 2003 to 2019, ABS-CBN as a group paid P71.5 billion in taxes,” he noted during the hearing.

And so for Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, there would be dire consequences if the media firm shuts down, considering the amount of taxes it pays the government.

Also, the lawmaker pointed out the inevitable losses in income taxes should ABS-CBN layoff workers due to closure.

“Sa panahon ngayon na grabe po ang krisis na dinadaanan natin, na pinalala pa ng pandemya ng COVID, ito ‘yung bilyon na pwede mawala rin in the next 10 or 25 years, na supposedly na papasok sa ating pambansang ekonomya,” he said.

(In this time of great crisis, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, this means billions of pesos that the government also stands to lose in the next 10 to 25 years, which supposedly could be infused into our national economy.)