Why Filipinos in Forbes’ list are not PH’s top taxpayers

Manila, Philippines --- The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said yesterday that not one of the 10 business tycoons listed by Forbes Magazine as the richest Filipinos was in its list of top 10 individual income taxpayers. But BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said that it does not mean these individuals were paying less tax than many entertainment personalities who are in the top ten slots. Henares explained that these heads of business conglomerates pay more taxes in terms of final withholding tax on interest on bank deposits and capital gains tax on the sale of shares of stocks and other properties. The BIR chief said businessmen became billionaires and multi-millionaires because the value of their assets grows over the years. She said asset worth P1 million may multiply many times over but it is not taxable unless they dispose them. Top individual taxpayers for 2012 showed that Andrew Tan who is into hotel and casino business paid the highest income tax with P39.6 million. He was listed in the Forbes as the third richest Filipino with wealth estimated at $4.7 billion. Enrique Razon who is into port container and hotel business was listed as third richest with asset of $$4.2 billion He paid R19 million in income tax making him the 52nd top tax filer. Henry Sy who remained the richest with properties worth more than $11 billion was the 74th top taxpayer with total payment of P16.4 million. Lucio Tan who is into cigarette and real estate business and listed as the second richest with total asset of $6.1 billion was 138th among PH’s top tax filers with payment of less than P12 million. Other revenue officials explained that these billionaires paid lower income tax because salaries they got from their companies were lower than the earnings of movie and television stars. The top individual taxpayer was Vivian Que Ascona of Mercury Drugs who remitted more than P131 million.