Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tax bill of $50m for Pacquiao

27 November 2013, 13:45

Manila - Philippines authorities demanded on Wednesday that boxing great Manny Pacquiao pay a $50 million tax bill or risk having assets seized, but the national hero vowed to take the fight to court.

The battle between one of the best boxers in history and the taxman has shocked his army of fans in the Philippines, emerging just days after a comeback win in the ring was hailed as a moment of hope amid the aftermath of a deadly typhoon.

Pacquiao disclosed on Tuesday the Bureau of Internal Revenue wanted 2.2 billion pesos ($50.2 million) for alleged unpaid taxes in 2008 and 2009, when he was at the peak of his career and one of the world's highest-earning athletes.

Pacquiao, 34, insisted he had paid his taxes in the United States, and so did not need to do so in the Philippines because the two countries have an agreement allowing their citizens to avoid double taxation.

But tax commissioner Kim Henares, who has spearheaded a high-profile campaign against tax evasion in the Philippines, stood firm on Wednesday, saying Pacquiao had failed for two years to provide documents proving his US payments.

"2.2 billion (pesos) is what Pacquiao owes now because of surcharges and interest," Henares said on ABS-CBN television.

Henares said the tax bill may be cut if Pacquiao did provide certified documents proving he paid the US Internal Revenue Service.

"What we want is evidence that he (Pacquiao) actually paid the tax."

But she said that even if he had paid the 30 percent tax rate in the United States, there would still be extra charges due in the Philippines because it had a higher rate of 32 percent.

The tax office has frozen his bank accounts in the Philippines, which Pacquiao said had left him financially paralysed.

Henares said the tax office could eventually take the money owed by stripping him of his assets.

She said the tax office had already placed a "lien" on a Pacquiao property, worth millions of dollars, in one of Manila's most exclusive gated communities.

A lien is a form of security which allows the tax office to take back money it is owed, via lease payments or sale of the property.

Pacquiao to fight taxman

Pacquiao went on a publicity blitz on Tuesday night, appearing on all the major domestic television networks, to insist on his innocence and brand the tax office's actions "harassment".

"I am not a criminal or a thief. I am not hiding anything. I will face my problems as they come," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao's American promoter Bob Arum also released a statement saying his Top Rank firm had paid the 30 percent taxes directly to the US Internal Revenue Service, and certified paperwork to show proof would be available "very soon".

But Pacquiao's Manila lawyer said on Wednesday that he would not give the tax office those documents, preferring instead to fight the issue in court.

"This is no longer within the jurisdiction of the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue)," lawyer Tranquil Salvador said.

"The tax case is now with the court of tax appeals. We do not have to submit anything to the BIR." A court hearing has been set for December 5.

Pacquiao, a former street kid who did not finish high school, has used his sporting career to launch a successful political career - he is a second-term congressman with publicly declared ambitions of eventually becoming president.

Pacquiao, a member of the main opposition alliance to President Benigno Aquino, hinted the case against him may be political, calling for those involved to "forget about playing politics".

At his peak Pacquiao was regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, becoming the only man to win world titles in eight weight divisions.

He lost two fights last year, leading some to predict his career was finished.

But a convincing win over American Brandon Rios in Macau on Sunday reignited his career, sparking talk once again of a long-awaited bout against Floyd Mayweather.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...