Kapuso writer Suzette Doctolero is in favor of giving ABS-CBN another franchise. However, at the same time she accused the network of tax evasion which according to her should be penalized.
In a Facebook post, the controversial writer once again hit at ABS-CBN’s tax issue saying the congressional hearing was successful in unearthing ABS-CBN’s crimes of “economic sabotage” and “tax evasion”.
“Ayaw natin mawalan ng trabaho ang mga empleyado at talents pero hindi sila pwedeng gamiting pananggalang para palusutin ang malaking kasalanan (na allegedly, base sa hearing at mga ebidensya) ay tila yata tax evasion aka pagnanakaw o sige, tila yata katumbas ng economic sabotage ito oy. Kung ito ay tax evasion, Ito ay illegal at criminal na gawain. Press freedom ka dyan. Pwe!” she wrote.
“I hope mabigyan ng franchise dahil ayaw nating mawalan ng kabuhayan ang mga kapamilya, sa totoo lang. Boto ako na mabigyan uli sila ng chance pero ipenalty at idemanda ang mga nagkasala. Hindi pwedeng palusutin para gayahin ng marami pang malalaking kompanya ang allegedly ay pagnanakaw at pandaraya.. press freedom pa more ba?” she added.
Doctolero was one of the GMA Network employees who are baited by the viral fake news about ABS-CBN tax issues.
However, Congressional hearings will bear out that ABS-CBN wasn’t found to have violated any tax laws as attested by the BIR itself.
BIR’s Large Tax Payers Audit Division 3 Simplicio Cabantac Jr. already cleared ABS-CBN from tax-related allegations when he told the Senate panel in a hearing last February 24 that the network is “regularly filing and paying their taxes for the past number of years.”
Meanwhile during the congressional hearing, BIR assistant commissioner Manuel Mapoy, upon the permission of ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak, divulged that the network paid P15,382,423,364.16 in taxes from 2016 to 2019.
Mapoy also added that in terms of violations or issues related to ABS-CBN’s payment of taxes, he said “there is no outstanding delinquent account as we speak.”
“ABS-CBN Corporation ay (is) regularly paying taxes for the past years. Na-check naman po na ‘yung dapat nilang i-withhold at na-remit naman nila sa gobyerno (The amount that it needed to withhold had been checked and it was remitted to the government),” Mapoy said.
Online trolls and critics like Doctolero have been abusing the issue of the ABS-CBN Foundation and Big Dipper as ABS-CBN’s way to avoid paying proper taxes.
However, tax expert Mon Abrea the founder of the Asian Consulting Group said it is wrong to accuse ABS-CBN of tax evasion or tax avoidance because taxation involves many factors that cannot be compared apples to apples to other broadcast companies.
“For obvious reasons, tax credit is not tax avoidance. It’s an advance payment already, meaning it’s been taxed from a different income or other transactions before they declared it,” he said.
“It cannot be a fellow taxpayer or a lawmaker who’s supposed to be knowledgeable of tax laws who will decide or accuse you of not paying taxes correctly. It’s wrong to say that, ‘ABS-CBN paid less compared to this company or this other broadcasting company, so ABS-CBN is not compliant or violated the tax laws,’ it doesn’t work that way..
“Imagine yourself, if you are in the position of ABS-CBN, your books, your payments are all being discussed in public after diligently doing your part, you’re now being persecuted because they don’t like you or politics is now playing a role,” he added.
Also, to give light to the issue at hand, tax avoidance is very much different from tax evasion. Although it minimizes the payment of taxes, it is not considered illegal but rather employs legal means as a tax-saving measure like using tax credits and incentives.
Tax evasion, on the other hand, uses fraudulent means in order not to pay the tax supposed to be paid, like understating income by not declaring it in its tax returns or overstating expenses which may be non-existent or not in accordance with the tax laws. Although both methods reduce the payment of tax, tax avoidance legally makes use of all available measures to help tax minimization.
Meanwhile, in a succeeding post, Doctolero maintained that ABS-CBN deceived BIR in their tax
“Pero uulitin ko, pabor ako sa franchise renewal dahil unfair na mawalan ng trabaho ang mga empleyado pero parusahan ang allegedly ay pagkakasala nung mga may pakana ng allegedly ay “pagnanakaw”. Pagmultahin o dalhin sa korte para huwag pamarisan,” she said.