BIR files tax evasion raps against fruit supplier for Puregold
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Internal Revenue filed a tax evasion case at the Department of Justice on Thursday against a fruit and vegetable dealer and his accountant for allegedly cheating the government out of close to P47 million in income taxes in 2010 and 2011.
Charged for violation of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 were Alvin Esguerra, owner of Fruiveg Marketing, which supplies fruits and vegetables to different Puregold supermarkets; and accountant Celia Mirasol-Gueco.
Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said the case against Esguerra and Gueco was a result of the tax agency’s audit of Puregold Price Club Inc., which reported that it paid Fruiveg almost P162 million for the fruits and vegetables it supplied to Puregold’s six branches.
“This is the beauty of third-party tax report and the computerization of our records in the BIR,” Henares said at a news briefing.
Records provided by Puregold to the BIR showed that Fruiveg received P64.88 million in 2010 and P96.84 million the following year.
However, Henares said Esguerra reported sales of only P812,458.50 in 2010 and P75.56 million in 2011 in his income tax returns.
“Under the tax code, an underdeclaration of more than 30 percent constitutes prima facie evidence of fraud tantamount to tax evasion,” she said.
Henares said Esguerra must pay the government P36.11 million for 2010 and P10.49 million for 2011, including surcharges and interests.
Gueco was implicated in the complaint for issuing an “unqualified” certification of the 2010 and 2011 audited financial statements of Esguerra despite her “knowledge” of the “underdeclarations.”
The complaint against Esguerra and Gueco was the 112th tax evasion case filed under the Aquino administration, Henares said.—With Tetch Torres, INQUIRER.net
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