Tax court junks Carlo J. Caparas bid to dismiss tax evasion rap
The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) denied the bid of film director Carlo J. Caparas to dismiss the tax evasion case against him on the ground of weak evidence by government prosecutors.
In a nine-page resolution, the Tax Court’s Third Division, through Associate Justice Esperanza R. Fabon-Victorino, said Caparas’ argument that he was not the one charged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is inconsistent to what has transpired during his arraignment when they stipulated in court that the director was the same person charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“The foregoing observations are not only disturbing but they also appear inimical to the present stance of accused. With his complain that he was not given the opportunity to be heard both by the BIR and the DOJ, giving accused the opportunity to present evidence in full is in order but also warranted,” the Tax Court said.
After the prosecution finished their presentation of evidence, Caparas filed a demurrer to evidence saying the presentation presented against him was weak.
He said his tax identification number (TIN) is 158-139-684-000 and not 157-741-560-000 contrary to the claim of the prosecution.
“The subject assessments were issued against a different taxpayer with TIN 157-741-560-000, it is as if no assessment was issued against him,” Caparas said adding that the final demand letter allegedly sent by the BIR to him was received by a certain Jana Gelogo whom he does know.
He also insisted that he relied on the assurance of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) that the compensation for the services he rendered to it would be paid net of all taxes.
Assuming that the PCSO failed to remit the withheld taxes as the withholding agent, Caparas said “the criminal liability rests upon it alone.”
On the other hand, the prosecution said witnesses and documents showed that the 157-741-560-000 TIN number belongs to Caparas.
Prosecution evidence also show that no value added tax (VAT) returns were filed or payment of corresponding taxes were made by Caparas under the said TIN number from 2006 to 2009.
“The prosecution denies its alleged failure to adduce sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused is guilty under the 4 informations filed against him warranting a full trial to give accused the opportunity to present his defense,” the prosecution told the court.
In dismissing Caparas’ demurrer to evidence, the appeals court noted that the director himself admitted in court that he relied in good faith that the PCSO will pay the required taxes.
“Such admission made in the course of the proceedings is deemed a judicial admission and becomes binding on the accused,” the CTA said.
Caparas is facing a case for violating the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) for failing to file VAT returns for the years 2006 to 2009 resulting in deficiency taxes of P101,819,722.19.
Caparas was investigated by the BIR when a television news report on two shows funded by the PCSO and produced by Caparas caught the attention of the BIR.
The two shows titled “Ang Pangarap Kong Jackpot” and “Kroko” were apparently part of the P1.3-billion contracts entered into by PCSO and Caparas, for which he received a total of P850.95 million from the years 2006 to 2009.
Concurring with the decision were Associate Justices Lovell R. Bautista and Ma. Belen M. Ringpis-Liban. RAM
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