Dominguez Says There Is No Basis For BIR Shutdown Order Against Megaworld


PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

A BIREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) regional office’s plan to issue a closure order against listed developer Megaworld Corp. had no basis, said Secretary of Finance Carlos G. Dominguez III.

“There was a threat of closing a listed company without any basis. There’s no evidence that they (Megaworld) didn’t pay the tax, there isn’t,” Dominguez told reporters on the sidelines of a Department of Finance (DoF) event. in Manila on Monday.

Shares of Megaworld plunged on May 17 after BIR Revenue Region 8B – South NCR issued a media advisory regarding its intention to issue a closure order against the company the following day.

The order was withdrawn later that day, after Megaworld said it would comply with the audit.

“I’m just saying that I haven’t seen an assessment and charge sheet. I have not seen it. By announcing it publicly like this on a publicly traded company, you’re not just affecting the company, you’re affecting the shareholders. This is not correct,” the chief financial officer said, noting that the Social Security Service (SSS) and Government Services Assurance System (GSIS) are shareholders in Megaworld.

In a separate Viber message to reporters, Dominguez said Megaworld shareholders collectively lost around 111 million pesos between May 17 and May 23. Of this total, the paper losses of SSS and GSIS are approximately 37 million pesos.

Tax Region BIR No. 8B – South NCR had claimed that the closure order stemmed from Megaworld’s refusal to comply with an audit to verify whether the company was paying taxes on one-time transactions on the sale of properties in Taguig City.

However, Dominguez said Megaworld did not deny the BIR access to its books, but only questioned the jurisdiction of the regional office.

“Resolving the jurisdictional issue Ifbefore going out. Do not be dumb. It was the left hand that didn’t know what the right hand was doing. Come on, that’s not a professional thought,” he said, adding that the BIR shutdown order never reached his office.

Mr. Dominguez said the audit on Megaworld would now be carried out by the Large Taxpayer Service of the BIR National Office, not the regional office.

On Saturday, the DoF ordered a suspension of orders creating special audit tax forces on real estate developers and multilevel marketing companies, as well as task forces for Philippine offshore gambling operators and electronic sabong companies. . He also ordered a halt to all field audits and other operations under these task forces.

“I stopped these investigations because I don’t want something like this, a legitimate thing to do, to be used to harass people under false pretences, for nothing,” Dominguez said. — Tobias Jared Tomas

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