Friday, March 9, 2012

News Update Philippines' Pacquiao faces bout with tax man

Philippine boxing champion Manny Pacquiao faces a fight against the tax man, with officials saying Friday they are probing whether the multi-millionaire has paid enough into government coffers.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue filed a criminal complaint against the eight-time world champion last week for failing to cooperate with the investigation, tax investigator Eric Diesto told AFP Friday.
Pacquiao, 33, is accused of failing to produce documents related to his fight contracts and product endorsements that are sought by tax investigators.
The maximum penalty is two years in jail and a fine of up to 10,000 pesos ($235), Diesto said.
Diesto said the bureau had launched a "routine" investigation of the tax records of Pacquiao, who is also an elected member of the House of Representatives, and other taxpayers in the south last year.
"He is not being singled out. We have also filed complaints against 39 other people," said Diesto, regional head of the bureau's legal division in the southern city of Koronadal.
The investigator declined to discuss Pacquiao's income tax filings, saying the documents were confidential.
Pacquiao could not be reached for comment at his Manila office Friday, but in a television interview he denied being uncooperative.
"If they are looking for something, they should also give us time to review the order. I don't have any intention to evade it (the investigation)," he told GMA network in comments aired on Thursday.
Diesto said the complaint was filed with the Koronadal state prosecutor, who has yet to decide whether to bring criminal charges in court against Pacquiao.
Last May, the boxer declared end-2010 assets of 1.13 billion pesos ($26.3 million) and no liabilities, making him the country's wealthiest member of parliament. magazine estimated he spent $7 million in his election campaign in 2010 while also earning $35 million for his two fights against Joshua Clottey and Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao, who has a 54-3 win-loss record with two draws, is considered the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
He stakes his World Boxing Organisation welterweight crown against undefeated American Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas on June 9.