Next commissioner says BIR to follow court on Marcoses’ P203-B estate tax

Incoming Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Lilia Guillermo on Tuesday assured the tax collection agency will comply with the court decisions on the alleged P203-billion unsettled tax liabilities of the Marcos family.

In Mariz Umali’s report on “24 Oras,” Guillermo clarified the next actions on the supposedly unpaid estate taxes relies on the jurisdiction of the courts and not on the BIR or the Department of Finance (DOF).

“Nasa korte yan wala ‘yan sa BIR, wala ‘yan sa DOF. Nasa courts. Ang sinasabi mo ‘what if the court already tells me to collect it?’ Titingnan ko how it was worded, no? And then we will comply kung ano ang utos ng korte. Alam mo naman talagang hinihintay lang natin ‘yun,” she said.

(The courts decide on that and not the BIR or the DOF. Now you’re asking me what if the court already tells me to collect it? I’ll look at how it was worded. And then we will comply with the courts. We are just waiting for it.)

The BIR previously said it had sent a letter to the former First Family in December 2021 demanding them to pay their tax obligation.

For his part, incoming Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno echoed Guillermo’s remarks saying he would leave the decision to the courts.

“I think ganito ‘yan, 40 years na yan or 35 years, I think it’s unfair to put the burden on me, no? Dapat nakolekta na ‘yun if that was collectable and so, we will leave it to the courts to decide,” said Diokno.

(It has been 40 years or 35 years… I think it’s unfair to put the burden on me. It should have been collected if it was collectable. And so, we will leave it to the courts to decide.)

Marcos named Guillermo to the post over the weekend. She is currently the Assistant Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

A long-term public servant, she was chosen to head the BIR after previously serving the agency for almost 40 years and for her expertise in the field of information technology.

Guillermo assured the public the Marcos Jr. administration will not introduce new taxes.

“Sinabi na ni Gov. Diokno na di kami mag iintroduce ng bagong buwis kasi kakaintroduce lang ng bagong buwis. It’s improving collection efficiency,” she said.

(Gov. Diokno earlier said we would not introduce new taxes because we just had a new one. It’s improving collection efficiency [that matters].)

“It’s the compliance to these new laws in the past. Medyo hindi pa maximum ang compliance so I don’t think additional taxes will have to be imposed. It’s a matter of seeing to it that the tax player can comply easily,” she added.

Meanwhile, the new chief of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) said their agency will probe the allegations of Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile saying a group from the United States and the Philippines are planning to “embarrass” Marcos Jr. during his inauguration on June 30.

“That would be one of the topics to be validated, saka ano ang implications nyan. So, hindi pa ako makakapag-react at hindi ko pa rin nakakausap si Sen. Enrile. But that is part of our job. Kasi ‘yung pagva-validate ng mga report, kasama ‘yan,” retired general Ricardo de Leon said.

(That would be one of the topics to be validated, and what are its implications. I still cannot react and I have yet to talk with Sen. Enrile. But that is part of our job.)–Sundy Locus/LDF, GMA News

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