Ex-CJ Corona charged for P150-M tax evasion

Ready to face new
‘harassment’ with
daughter, son in law

QUEZON CITY — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed last week before the Department of Justice (DOJ) tax evasion charges worth P150.68 million against former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, his daughter Ma. Carla Beatriz C. Castillo, and son-in-law, Constantino T. Castillo III.

BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said criminal charges were filed against Corona for violating Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) from 2003 to 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
 Corona expressed his readiness to face the tax evasion cases filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue against him and some members of his family.
In an e-mail sent to the media, Corona said that they have long been expecting the cases to be filed against them because they have exchanged communications with the BIR and that they have complied with the deadline.
Corona assured that they will undergo the legal process, adding they still have to wait for the serving of the subpoena and the receipt of the complaint.
The former chief justice said they will answer the criminal charges with the help of their legal counsel.
Corona, a registered taxpayer of Revenue District Office No. 32 that covers Sampaloc, Sta Mesa and San Miguel, served as chief of staff, presidential spokesman and acting Executive Secretary under then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo before she appointed him as Associate Justice in the SC and as Chief Justice.
Henares said as a public official from 2002 to 2010, Corona is required to submit under oath his statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN) annually, including that of his spouse and children under 18 years of age.
In his SALNs, Corona’s networth ranged between P7 million to P22 million in the nine-year period.
Investigation showed that Corona did not declare all his assets in his SALNs.
Aside from the bank deposits, he also did not declare two real properties he acquired during his stint in government such as a condominium unit at the Columns, along Ayala Avenue, Makati City that he bought for P3.6 million in 2004, and a property in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City that he bought for P9.16 million in 2005.
The BIR also looked at Corona’s bank records and compared it with his networth.
It also discovered a substantial disparity between the acquisition cost of the properties declared in his SALNs with that in the certificates authorizing registrations (CARs).
Henares said they computed Corona’s deficiency income tax liability at P120.5 million for the nine-year period.
The BIR computed his tax liability using the expenditure method which is based on the theory that if a taxpayer’s expenditure in a given year exceeds his reported income, the excess spending represents unreported income.
Henares said that they charged Corona’s daughter for violating Section 254 of the NIRC or attempting to evade or defeat taxes in 2010, and violating Section 255 or failing to file an income tax return for the same year.
Mr. Castillo was charged for violating Section 254 of the NIRC or attempting to evade taxes in 2003 and 2009 and violating Section 255 of the NIRC or failing to file a return in 2003.
Henares said Mr. Castillo registered with the BIR in 1998 but filed his income tax returns only from 2005 to 2009.
Mr. Castillo declared a total income of only P1.933 million for the five-year period.
On the other hand, Castillo’s wife only filed income tax returns for 2008 and 2009 where she declared a total income of only P228,040.00.
While the Castillo couple’s declared income amounted to less than P3 million, they were able to acquire three properties such as a P10.5-million property in Proj. 3, Quezon City, a P15-million commercial property in Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City and an P18-million mansion in La Vista, Quezon City.
Henares said using the expenditure method, the BIR computed the deficiency income tax liability of Mr. Castillo at P20.25 million.
Meanwhile, the deficiency income tax liability of Corona’s daughter amounts to P9.93 million.

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