BIR officials rebuff Carpio et al; declare Marcos' heirs not liable in P203B estate tax issue

4 April 2022

REGIONAL directors and district officers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) nationwide have come out and declared that the heirs and administrators of the late President Marcos’ estate cannot be compelled or sued in court for tax evasion, even if they failed to pay the more than P203 billion tax assessment on the latter’s assets.

In what could be a direct rebuff to previous statements of former SC Justice Antonio Carpio and presidential wannabees Isko Domagoso, Manny Pacquiao, Leni Robredo and others, the BIR officials explained the estate tax is levied on real and personal properties of a dead person and not on the assets owned by his relatives.

To recall, Carpio and rivals of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos were all over the news in the past days, claiming that he and his relatives were accountable for not paying the P203-B estate tax, in obvious ploy to misdirect and paint him in a bad light and derail his imminent win in the fast-approaching scheduled May 9 elections.   

“I can’t recall of any individual being sent to jail for non-payment of the said tax,” one of the regional directors said in an interview with Manila Bulletin.

The Supreme Court (SC) apparently agrees with the BIR official by saying that it is the estate which is liable to pay the taxes and not the heir or heirs.

In a decision (Marcos II v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 120880; June 5, 1997, 339 PHIL 253-275), the SC states:

“In the case of notices of levy issued to satisfy the delinquent estate tax, the delinquent taxpayer is the Estate of the decedent, and not necessarily and exclusively, the petitioner as heir of the deceased. In the same vein, in the matter of income tax delinquency of the late president and his spouse,  petitioner is not the taxpayer liable.”

Furthermore, the officials explained that the proper thing to do under the Tax Code and revenue regulations is to seize and sell in public auction the properties of the deceased to settle the indebtedness.

“That is what we have been doing for years since the death of the former strong man, but the problem nobody was interested in buying them,” the official added.

The officials also answered allegations against them that the bureau has been negligent in collecting the said estate tax.

They added that when Marcos died in 1989 the revenue examiners fixed his estate tax debts at P23 billion.

The deficiency tax sharply rose to more P203 billion due to the one-time 50 percent surcharge and 20 percent yearly interest.

“It’s not a coincidence that rivals of presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos are raising this matter in unison a few weeks before the elections, sadly this is all about politics,” one of the BIR officials said.

Earlier, the camp of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., assailed the “gutter politics” of his rivals explaining the said case is still pending in court.

“Our rivals are misdirecting everyone by claiming that the case has attained finality when the truth of the matter is, it is still pending in court and the ownership of the properties in litigation has yet to be settled,” said Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesman and chief of staff of Marcos.

“That being the case, the fair and just tax base to be used in computing the estate tax cannot yet be established with certainty,” Rodriguez added.-30-

FILIPINO VERSION

BIR OFFICIALS SINUPALPAL SI CARPIO ET AL; TAGAPAGMANA NI MARCOS HINDI PWEDENG PAPANAGUTIN SA P203B ESTATE TAX

BINASAG ng mga regional director at mga district official ng Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) sa buong bansa ang kanilang katahimikan at ibinunyag na ang mga tagapagmana at administrador ng estate ni dating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ay hindi pwedeng papanagutin sa P203 bilyong estate tax assessment.

Kinontra ng mga opisyal ang pahayag nina dating Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio at presidential wannabes Isko Domagoso, Manny Pacquiao, Leni Robredo at iba pa, kasabay ng paliwanag na ang estate tax ay ipinapataw sa real at personal property ng namatay na tao at hindi sa mga ari-arian ng kanyang mga kamag-anak.

Matatandaan na iginigiit nina Carpio at iba pa na si presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. ay nararapat panagutin sa hindi pagbabayad ng P203-B estate tax, na itinaon ngayong papalapit ang halalan sa Mayo 9.

“I can’t recall of any individual being sent to jail for non-payment of the said tax,” ayon sa isa sa regional director sa panayam ng Manila Bulletin.

Lumalabas na kinakatigan ito ng Korte Suprema. Sa isang desisyon, sinasabi ng katas-taasang hukuman (Marcos II v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 120880; June 5, 1997, 339 PHIL 253-275) na ang pagkakautang sa estate tax ay pananagutan ng estate at hindi ng tagapag-mana o administrador ng nasabing ari-arian ng isang pumanaw.

“In the case of notices of levy issued to satisfy the delinquent estate tax, the delinquent taxpayer is the Estate of the decedent, and not necessarily and exclusively, the petitioner as heir of the deceased. In the same vein, in the matter of income tax delinquency of the late president and his spouse,  petitioner is not the taxpayer liable,” pahayag ng Korte Suprema.

Samantala, ipinaliwanag pa ng opisyal ng BIR na ang tamang gawin sa ilalim ng Tax Code at revenue regulations ay kumpiskahin at ibenta sa public auction ang mga ari-arian ng namatay para ma-settle ang pagkakautang nito, kung meron man.

“That is what we have been doing for years since the death of the former strong man, but the problem nobody was interested in buying them,” dagdag ng opisyal.

Tila sinagot din ng mga opisyal ang mga batikos sa kanila na wala silang ginagawa ukol sa naturang isyu.

Idinagdag pa nila na noong namatay si Marcos noong 1989, inayos ng mga revenue examiner ang kanyang tax estate na umabot sa P23 bilyon.

Tumaas ang deficiency tax nito sa mahigit P203 bilyon dahil sa one-time 50 percent surcharge at 20 porsyentong taunang interest.

“It’s not a coincidence that rivals of presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos are raising this matter in unison a few weeks before the elections, sadly this is all about politics,” ayon sa isang opisyal

Kamakailan ay binatikos din ng kampo ni Marcos ang pagpapalabas ng naturang isyu na bahagi pa rin ng maruming pulitika ng kanyang mga kalaban.

“Our rivals are misdirecting everyone by claiming that the case has attained finality when the truth of the matter is, it is still pending in court and the ownership of the properties in litigation has yet to be settled,” ayon kay Atty. Vic Rodriguez, tagapagsalita at chief of staff ni Marcos.

“That being the case, the fair and just tax base to be used in computing the estate tax cannot yet be established with certainty,” dagdag ni Rodriguez.

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