by Charles Jay
Manny Pacquiao has expressed in two different things, both major, over the course of the last week – a run for governor OF General Santos and a transfer of his tax status FROM General Santos to somewhere else, perhaps to Manila or Laguna.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Is wondering about that, as some people might.
Why would one want to do such a thing when they are running for governor of that very district?
Of course, many things surrounding Pacquiao have mystified the BIR, including his reticence to hand over documents that might clarify his tax liability to the country, after paying considerably lower taxes in 2010 than he had the previous year, despite the very real possibility of substantially more earnings. We say the “real possibility” because even though there is good authority to estimate Pacquiao’s ring income from fights that year, and news of his endorsement deals, including one with Hewlett-Packard, was spread liberally for public relations and “branding” purposes, the BIR is still unaware of what his liability is, because they have not been furnished the documentation they need to make that determination.
All they are pretty sure of is that the taxes he paid, which amount to less than $163,000, are not consistent with the level of income he likely attained.
Hence they are bringing an action against him, which would equate to a contempt charge here in the United States, and not tax evasion, which is what Pacquiao would want everyone to believe he’s being charged with.
You see, if it was tax evasion, it would be a sexier lawsuit for him to file against the BIR, as we understand this is the direction he is considering going in. The truth of the matter is that Pacquiao is probably evading taxes, in the purest definition of the term, but the BIR has not hit him with that, most likely because they wouldn’t know to which degree he was evading them until they saw the documentation they are currently seeking.
Which explains why Pacquiao isn’t showing it to them.
Pacquiao has said that he wants something more than a “light” workload, as he described his duties as a congressman. He wants to take on more responsibility and perhaps get some “executive” experience.
He is claiming that he is being “taken out for a ride” by the BIR, and that this has resulted in a certain amount of damage to his character that has hurt his chances to secure at least four endorsement deals. He’d have to substantiate those would-be deals if he wanted to prevail in court on that basis. We have endeavored to contact Lucia McKelvey, the former IMG agent who now represents Pacquiao in the area of merchandising and endorsements, but have yet to receive a reply about the specific endorsements the Filipino champion is referring to.
The BIR, which is the tax agency of the Philippines, has to approve a move of tax registration, but it will not do so until Pacquiao steps forward and settles the matters that are still dangling out there.
Rozil Lozares, a BIR regional director, and the “bad guy” as far as Pacquiao is concerned, is one of those in the government who is curious about this planned move of PacMan’s.
“It will not look good for him politically because he announced he will run for governor here,” Lozares told a local radio station. “It would not be good if he pays his taxes in another district. It’s his call.”
Sure, it’s his call, AFTER he comes forth with the right papers