Jeane Napoles Indicted for Tax Evasion
The daughter of Janet Lim Napoles, considered as the pork barrel queen of the Philippines, has been indicted for tax evasion cases. Jeane Napoles is being accused for not paying taxes amounting to 17 million pesos. The charges that will be filed before the Court of Tax Appeals will include two counts of attempted tax evasion and two counts of failure to file an Income Tax Return
It was in October 2013 when the Bureau of Internal Revenue filed a case before the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make the younger Napoles culpable for the taxes she failed to settle. According to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela, the original complaint detailing the tax liability of Jeane Napoles amounts to 32 million pesos, while the case approved by the DOJ only amounted to 17 million pesos.
Based on the complaints filed, they were made on the basis of the luxurious lifestyle of Jeane Napoles, although records show that she is not paying her taxes. One good example of such would be an LA apartment she owns, which is said to have a value of up to almost 60 million pesos. There are also two farms in Pangasinan amounting to 1.5 million pesos registered under her name. According to the BIR, even if the properties were supposedly given to her as gifts, she is still liable as they were not declared as such. To add, records of tax returns from 2011 to 2012 were also nowhere to be found.
In Defense of Jeane
The parents of Jeane were quick to have her defended from the case, claiming that they are the de facto owners of the properties being mentioned. This means that as parents, they are the ones liable for the payment of the taxes and not her daughter. In addition, the family’s lawyer also reiterated that Jeane is a student, and hence, she is not supposed to be paying any income tax or filing any returns for such.
The DOJ, on the other hand, was also quick to reject the claims of the camp of Napoles. According to the department, there is no documentary evidence proving that the property was merely held in trust. While there was an affidavit detailing the existence of an implied trust, it has been questioned by the resolution, saying that it was a biased explanation. The claims were even referred to as hollow.
In line with the tax evasion cases which have been filed, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares stressed that the country can opt to ask help from the US government to shed more light to the issues, especially concerning the principles of double taxation.
With these new investigations, the BIR is also continuously looking at all the corporations linked to Janet Napoles. They are also taking a look at how the family was able to amass a huge amount of wealth within a short period of time.