By Jun Ramirez
The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has cut down by more than one-half the civil liabilities of a gold trader from P12 billion to P5 billion convicted of filing false income tax returns (ITRs).
However, the court’s Third Division affirmed in the amended resolution the maximum jail sentence of 10 years against Rex Chua Co Ho, owner of Rex Gift Store in Ongpin, Sta. Cruz, Manila.
In reducing the tax debts, the court said the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s assessment did not consider losses and expenses incurred by the businessman in selling gold to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
It said revenue officers based the assessment on the documents secured from the BSP and on the so-called “best obtainable evidence.”
Ho was one of the eight or so gold traders charged with tax evasion by then BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henarez for not including the earnings from the source in their ITRs.
The court ignored the position of Ho, who is at-large, that the transaction was tax exempt because the BSP did not collect the corresponding withholding tax when he sold the precious metal.
Ho has been meted imprisonment from one to two years for each count of the criminal aspect of the case arising from the BSP deals made in 2005 to 2009.