Another Malampaya contractor charged with tax evasion

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

A BUSINESSMAN who benefited from implementing projects funded by government revenues from the Malampaya natural gas plant off Palawan is facing P78.65-million tax evasion case before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In its complaint, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said Thursday Lorenzo Leoncio failed to supply correct information in his Income Tax Return and did not file Value-Added Tax (VAT) Return from the first to third quarter of 2008.

His VAT return for the fourth quarter was also understated.

Leoncio is the sole proprietor of LB Leoncio Trading and Construction (LBLTC) located at Poblacion, Narra, Palawan. The firm was tapped by the provincial government of Palawan (PGP) to construct several infrastructure projects under the Malampaya fund in 2008.

Leoncio declared gross revenues amounting to only P18.04 million on that year.

However, documents gathered by investigators, including checks issued by the province, disbursement vouchers certified by the Commission on Audit (COA) and official receipts issued by LBLTC showed that Leoncio had P91.82 million in gross earnings.

The income payments include P86.13 million from the provincial government, P4.42 million from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and P1.27 million from the sale of rice.

The BIR said the businessman underdeclared his income by P73.78 million or by 409 percent. He also understated his VAT receipts by P67.53 million, or by 1,195 percent.

Leoncio's tax liability, which factored in surcharges and interest, was broken down as follows: income tax – P58.22 million; and VAT – P20.43 million.

Leoncio is the second businessman accused of evading taxes in relation to earnings from Malampaya fund after Bella Tiotangco of BCT Trading and Construction. She allegedly did not pay P277.2 million in taxes to the government also in 2008.

The BIR filed the complaint against Tiotangco last November 28. (Sunnex)

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