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Heirs of landed families, gold trader tax evaders, says BIR

Posted on November 10, 2011 10:37:14 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has filed tax evasion cases against the heirs of two families involved in a land transfer deal and the government employees who aided them.

The BIR pressed charges at the Department of Justice yesterday against the heirs of the late Gavino Vinluan of Pangasinan and an heir of the late Oscar R. Ongsiako of Makati City for willfully evading taxes and failing to file tax returns.

The Vinluan heirs -- Pilar V. Gonzales, Purita V. Canto, Federico Vinluan, Ramon R. Vinluan, Salvador Vinluan, Conchita V. Calvo, Hernando Vinluan, Gavino C. Vinluan, Heremias Vinluan, Socorro V. Gabionza, Israel Vinluan and Estrella V. Santiago -- allegedly failed to file estate tax returns after the death of Mr. Vinluan in February 1949.

According to investigations, Gavino left behind 25 properties and landholdings but no estate taxes were paid upon his death.

The heirs also executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition among Heirs with Sale for two parcels of land in 2009, but no capital gains tax or documentary stamp tax returns were submitted.

Melvin C. Castro, the deputy registrar of deeds of Lingayen, Pangasinan was also included in the charge sheet. He allegedly signed the Vinluans’ deeds, even without the Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) which is issued by the BIR to show that the required capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax returns have been filed and the liabilities have been paid.

The Vinluans have been assessed a tax deficiency of P7.40 million in capital gains tax and P1.86 million in documentary stamp tax for a total of P9.26 million.

Moreover, the BIR also filed charges against Juan Miguel V. Ongsiako for allegedly failing to pay estate and documentary stamp taxes after a P10-million, 870-square meter property along Roxas Boulevard was sold to him by his parents in October 2005.

The sale could have been a scheme of the family to transfer the assets from Oscar to Juan Miguel without paying estate taxes, the BIR said in a statement yesterday.

Juan Miguel’s total tax liability stands at P10.06 million, broken down into P3.65 million in estate tax, P5.11 million in capital gains tax and P1.3 million in documentary stamp tax, inclusive of surcharge and interest.

Robert M. Guillermo, the registrar of deeds of Pasay City, was likewise included in the Ongsiako case for allegedly allowing the transfer of ownership of the land without a certification from the BIR.

“The above master stroke of tax evasion could not have attained a level of sophistication without the aid of the Register of Deeds who willfully turned a blind eye and issued the new title without indicating the CAR serial number to decrease the probability of fraud detection,” BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said during the case filing yesterday.

Meanwhile, the bureau also ran after gold trader Virgilio I. Ocampo who sold P1.12 billion worth of refined gold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from 2005 to 2008, but failed to file quarterly and annual tax returns for his taxable income.

Mr. Ocampo’s tax liability is estimated to be P804.42 million for the four-year period.

The BIR has now filed 79 cases under its Run After Tax Evaders program during the Aquino administration. -- Diane Claire J. Jiao

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