Company in chopper scam slapped with tax evasion-A A +A
Thursday, July 5, 2012
MANILA (Updated 1:28 p.m.) -- The company that sold second-hand helicopters to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2009 and 2010 failed to pay taxes worth nearly P69 million for the transactions, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said Thursday.
As a result, the BIR charged a flurry of tax evasion cases against Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corporation (Maptra) and its president Hilario de Vera before the Department of Justice on account of failing to remit dues to the government, lack of duly-registered commercial receipts and tax identification number (TIN), among others.
The cases stemmed from a Senate investigation last year on the sale by Maptra to the PNP of three pre-owned helicopters declared as brand new.
Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo allegedly had past ownership of the choppers as flight records show these were used for two years before they were bought by the PNP, according to an earlier statement of Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Arroyo, who was charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan last month, repeatedly denied the accusation saying it was LionAir Inc. which owned the helicopters. LionAir eventually sold these to Maptra and then to the PNP.
BIR investigators found out that Maptra received P49.68 million from the PNP in November 2009 and another P49.68 million in March 2010 or a total of P99.36 million for the sale of two units of standard Robinson R44 Raven I helicopter and one Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter in July 2009.
However, the Pasay City-based firm failed to file income tax returns (ITR) for years 2009 and 2010.
Maptra was assessed a total deficiency tax liability for these years in the aggregate amount of P68.51 million, broken down into: income tax – P29.25 million (2009) and P26.25 million (2010); and value added tax – P6.59 million (2009) and P6.42 million (2010).
Probers likewise discovered that Maptra only registered with the BIR on October 21, 2011, despite the fact that it was incorporated in June 2009 and it had transactions with the PNP a month later.
Having failed to register with the BIR, Maptra failed to pay the annual registration fee required by law, thus making it liable for unlawful pursuit of business.
Further investigation also revealed that the receipts issued by Maptra for the subject sale belonged to Manila Aerospace Products Trading, a single proprietorship.
Moreover, the TIN used in the said receipts was that of de Vera and not of the company. Maptra was thus liable for failure to issue duly-registered receipts or sales or commercial invoices.
Those found guilty of tax evasion normally have to pay fines and serve a jail term ranging from one to 10 years under the National Internal Revenue Code. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)