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‘Di na patatagalin: DOJ to file tax evasion raps vs. Rappler, Maria Ressa ASAP

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said tax charges will be filed against news website Rappler and its president Maria Ressa this week before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA).

The move was made after the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a resolution which found probable cause to charge the respondents for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax and willful failure to supply correct and accurate information.

On the other hand, Guevarra assured the respondents that the tax case that will be filed is “without prejudice to the filing by the respondents of a motion for reconsideration or petition for review with the DOJ.”

The resolution resolved the complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which alleged that RHC’s 2015 tax returns its earnings P162.5 million from the issuance of its Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to NBM Rappler L.P. and Omidyar Network Find LLC.

A PDR is a security which grants the holder the right to the delivery or sale of the underlying shares of stocks.

“In her resolution, Caparros ruled RI (Rappler Inc.) shares for the purposes of underwriting PDRs for resale to interested buyers, RHC acted as a middleman whose profits were taxable under the Tax Code,” read the DOJ statement.

“By not declaring such profits in its returns, the RHC has violated the Tax Code,” it stated.

Because of this, RHC owes the government around P108 million in taxes.

This includesP91,320,480.99 in income tax including surcharge and interests as well as P17,138,467.78 in value added tax excluding surcharge and interests.