Manny Pacquiao Might Be #1 Pound-for-Pound, But He’s 113th in Tax-Paying


by Charles Jay

Business of Boxing
PacMoney – Marketing, Millions and Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao could lay claim to being the #1 fighter in the world, on a pound-for-pound basis. Certainly the dispute between him and Floyd Mayweather for that mythical crown will continue to go on. However, when it comes to paying his taxes, PacMan is a veritable club fighter.

At least that is the observation the Bureau of Internal Revenue has offered about him.

One of things that caught the attention of Kim Henares, the BIR Commissioner, about the case of Pacquiao was the fact that in 2009, he was the #1 tax-payer in the country; in other words, he paid more in taxes than anyone else.

That was a cause for celebration, in a sense. Pacquiao became the revenue agency’s poster boy. He was praised for being so prompt, and even enlisted to make a commercial urging his countrymen to pay their taxes.

In light of what has happened in recent months, that seemed like a hundred years ago.

However, it only took one year, from 2009 to 2010, for Pacquiao to go from being the #1 tax-payer to the #113 tax-payer, according to Henares, and that got her justifiably curious, considering that as part of a declaration of assets that is, from the looks of it, customary among members of the Congress, he was its wealthiest member, with assets that were equal to $26.3 million, with no liabilities listed.

As a way of illustrating the kind of frustration her agency has had to deal with, not to mention the legitimate concerns associated with it, Henares, while not revealing the exact figure, said that Pacquiao paid less than P7 million in taxes for 2010, which coverts to less than $163,000 in U.S. dollars. That seems disproportionate, considering that there were many deals Pacquiao took advantage of, both home and abroad, during the year, including:

* A TV game show on GMA Network called “Manny Many Prizes,” which started in July of last year and came on the heels of a sitcom that aired just before that called (get this) “Show Me Da Manny,” in which Pacquiao played the character of Manny Santos.

* An energy drink, along with a general endorsement deal with a produce company called State Street Produce.

* The launch of a cologne called MP8: Scent of a Champion, which described itself as “A top front punch of fresh bergamot, lemon, and citrus followed by combination punches of lavender, sage, vetiver, and a jab of nutmeg at the bottom.”

* A music deal, with a record release called “Sometimes When We Touch,” a remake he did along with singer-songwriter Dan Hill. The single sold enough to reach #19 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

* A deal, said to be worth a million dollars, with Hennessy, the cognac producer.

* An ongoing deal with Nike, which just recently included a demonstration of sensor-filled shoes.

* And there was the big deal with Hewlett-Packard, signed last summer and reported to be worth a million dollars a year for three years.

The local enterprises Pacquiao supposedly owns all or part of include a shopping mall, rental units, a convenience store, a restaurant and a beauty salon.

Sports Illustrated, which was doing a survey of athletes that they called “The Fortunate 50,” estimated that Pacquiao’s all-in revenue, which includes the two fights against Clottey and Margarito, were $52.5 million in 2010. The BIR claims not to have seen receipts of Pacquiao paying U.S. taxes on his fights, which would seem easy to produce. ESPN The Magazine, doing a survey of its own, estimated $32 million in ring earnings for the year.

Why would the agency in charge of tax collecting not have an interest when somebody with all of this going on is paying less than $163,000 in taxes?

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