Sereno to BIR: All my tax filings are in order
The camp of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said she was confident that the Bureau of Internal Revenue would not find anything improper or fraudulent in her income tax filings.
The House committee on justice on Wednesday ordered the BIR to look into Sereno’s tax records to determine if she committed tax evasion as a private lawyer.
“We are confident that the plan of the House committee to have the CJ’s ITR fillings looked into by the BIR would prove that the Chief Justice had paid the corresponding taxes for the income she earned while in private law practice,” Sereno spokesperson Josa Deinla said.
She added that Sereno “has accurately and properly declared all her earnings as government co-legal counsel in the PIATCO cases.”
“She declared all her fees from services faithfully rendered to the Philippine government in her income tax returns and paid the corresponding taxes to the BIR from 2004 to 2009,” she said.
“During the years CJ Sereno filed her income tax returns with the BIR, there was no deficiency assessment notice from the BIR nor any question surrounding her ITR filings. This only means one thing: All her income tax filings when she was a private lawyer were accurate and proper. Tama, sakto at walang hokus-pokus,” Deinla said.
“Like any other income, these fees, after the payment of taxes, were gradually spent over time. The fees also went, in part, to the family’s tithes, offerings, living, medical, and emergency expenses over the course of five years,” she said.
“All assets and investments bought or acquired from the remainder of these fees were truthfully reflected in her SALNs when she became a member of the judiciary,” Deinla said.
The statement, however, was silent on allegations raised in the House hearing that Sereno failed to submit her SALN for several years as a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law.