Recto to BIR: Why chase Pacquiao?
Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao only evades the punches of his opponents on the ring and not his taxes, a senator said Thursday.
Senator Ralph Recto backed Pacquiao, who is now the subject of a tax probe by the Bureau of Internal Revenue for alleged discrepancies in his income tax returns, particularly in 2010.
Recto said Pacquiao’s earnings from his fights abroad should no longer be taxable since he has already paid for it with the Internal Revenue Service in the United States. That would be double taxation, he said.
“Overseas Filipino workers’ earnings which are derived from working abroad are not subject to tax. I think the same principle should also apply to Pacquiao, who may not be a true-blue OFW but still our very own ‘Overseas Fighting Worker,’" Recto said in a statement.
The senator said he was appalled by how Pacquiao is being treated here compared to the “respect and adulation” that he enjoys before the global sporting community.
Recto added that the boxing sensation deserves “better treatment” from the tax bureau instead of portraying him as a tax evader.
“Sila kaya sumubok na magpagulpi sa ring. Bakit nila ginagawa ito sa kanya? How much goodwill and pride has he given to the country? Manny deserves a better treatment,” he said.
Recto, Senate committee on ways and means chair, noted that the BIR could only run after Pacquiao’s earnings from commercial endorsements and other local income-generating activities.
“It seems personalities who clobbered poverty and became successful are now natural suspects for tax evasion and ill-gotten wealth,” he said, adding that Pacquaio’s wealth is borne out of hard work.