Legislator Files A Bill To Give Lifetime Tax Exemption To Manny PacquiaoWhat could be the best way to pay tribute to a ‘hero’ who brings pride and honor to the country? Valenzuela Representative Magtanggol Gunigundo thinks boxing champ and Saranggani Representative Manny Pacquiao deserves to be exempted from the responsibility of paying taxes. And he wants it to be for the rest of his life.
In fact, Rep. Gunigundo did not hesitate to immediately file a proposed legislation for it. He mounted House Bill No. 3521 to seek a lifetime individual exemption from paying tax for ‘Pambansang Kamao.’ The legislator, who is a known ally of Pacquiao, clarified that the proposed law should only cover the billionaire boxer’s personal earnings. The bill does not aim to cover his businesses and all other assets.
As expected, the commissioner of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Kim Henares does not agree with the proposal. For the feisty commissioner, such a bill could be approved by other legislators to make it legal. But she pointed out that above all, it would not be fair.
Pacquiao is a multi-billionaire athlete after winning billions of dollars from his numerous victories (and even losses) as an international boxer. For the past several years, the media has been feasting on his numerous assets, both here and abroad.
Pacquiao’s tax controversy
Recently, Pacquiao called a press conference in General Santos City to announce how BIR froze his assets. The commission has been aiming to collect about P2.2 billion of allegedly unpaid taxes by Pacquiao from 2008 to 2009. For his own defense, Pacquiao was reiterating that his earnings from his fights were already taxed in the US, by the International Revenue Service (IRS).
The timing was odd. The announcement was made just a few days after he won a boxing match in Macau. Everything went clear when BIR explained its stand on the matter. According to the commission, it was collecting tax for the numerous assets and businesses of the boxing champ here in the country. It also emphasized that until now, it is yet to receive a copy of documents from the IRS, which would prove that Pacquiao paid taxes in the US during those years.
Top Rank big boss Bob Arum said his agency would be able to submit those documents in three months. (Top Rank is Pacquiao’s promoter and handles all the winnings of the champ in the US.) That was because he admitted that he would ask for copies of those only after this controversy broke out. Both Pacquiao and BIR’s camps have been ordered to be silent about the case following a gag order from the Court of Tax Appeals.