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Fake na naman?!?!

September 8, 2006

Tax appeals court orders Petron to pay P580M to BIR

THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has ordered oil giant Petron Corp. to pay P580.24 million to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for using fraudulent tax credit certificates to settle its obligations from 1995 to 1997.

In a resolution dated August 23, 2006, the second branch of the CTA denied the petition for review filed by Petron for lack of merit and directed the oil refiner to settle its tax obligations.

Petron was ordered by the tax court to pay P284.39 million in basic tax as well as a 20-percent interest amounting to P224.75 million and a 25-percent surcharge amounting to P71.08 million for late payment.

In addition, the oil company was directed to pay the BIR 20 percent delinquency interest per annum on the P580.24 million computed from December 1999 until the amount is fully paid.

The case stemmed from the assessment made by the BIR in 1999 demanding Petron to pay deficiencies in excise tax amounting to P651.33 million inclusive of P142.19 million surcharge and P224.75 million interest for taxable years 1995 to 1997.

Petron had been an assignee of several TCCs from various entities including Diamond Knitting, Filstar Textile Industrial, Alliance Thread Co., Fiber Tech Corp., Jantex Philippines, and Master Colour System.

TCC is an instrument issued by the government to firms that have claims for tax or duty refunds. Since the processing of refunds take time, the government allows holder to sell their TCCs to immediately convert these instruments to cash. The buyers can then use the TCCs to pay for their tax obligations.

The oil company utilized the TCCs in the payment of its excise tax liabilities with the BIR for taxable years 1995 to 1997. The assessment came after the BIR discovered that the TCCs used by Petron in the payment of its excise tax liabilities have been fraudulently issued and transferred.

(For the full story, click Fake TCCs, Sept. 8, 2006.)

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THIS story is not so totally unrelated to the Guimaras oil spill as one may think. What it shows is a pattern of fraud on the part of Petron, 40% of which is owned by the government.

As has been previously reported, Petron used a shipping company which employs a captain without the necessary papers to pilot an oil tanker then after being found out, still goes ahead and contracts a tugboat operator whose officers bought their licenses from Recto. The owner of the tanker isn’t even properly insured. Is Petron trying to tell us that its officials were completely unaware of these fraudulent cases?

The company has also a disturbing habit of lying. Telling the public that the tanker is no longer leaking oil, that certain barangays have been cleared of the oil spill, that it has not been trying to bribe the media (I just got another report of a bribe try this afternoon, c’mon!), that it had nothing to do with the gag order on the Coast Guard, etc.

I guess it isn’t a far stretch for Petron officials to engage in such acts of dishonesty. After all, they are only taking their cue from the biggest cheat of all, the presidentita herself. If she can lie about her election practices, why can’t they lie about an oil spill right?

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