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Be role model, incoming BIR chief may ask BBM

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Should the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) pursue the estate tax case against the Marcos family, its incoming chief will ask President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to be a “role model” and ask him to settle their tax liabilities.

“I will ask him to be a role model. The Marcoses will now pay their taxes because they complied with the law, if it came from the Supreme Court (SC), it’s final and executory,” incoming BIR commissioner Lilia Guillermo said hypothetically on Wednesday in a television interview.

“That’s what I will tell him but I should have the correct data. I should know what really is in that decision.”

The next tax collection chief noted that she has yet to get hold of the documents proving that the SC, in a 1997 decision, ruled that the heirs of the late former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. are liable to pay the tax deficiency in the original amount of P23 billion.

Guillermo said she has yet to see the documents on the Marcos tax liabilities so that she would know the “correct data” and information.

“I have not seen any documents about it. If it is final and executory, then it is our mandate to collect. That is one of the mandates of the BIR — the collection enforcement,” she said.

“If the BIR really has something to collect, I will tell him that he will not be the one to pay for it but the estate… We have to convert those properties to cash and these will be added to the tax collections of the BIR.”

She admitted that Marcos’ estate tax liabilities “will really help the collections of BIR” and she will not hesitate to collect them if the tax collection agency will be ordered to do so.

“We will not hesitate to collect them (estate tax) because when I met the President-elect, he did not even say a word about it,” she recalled.

Guillermo is the new addition to the incoming president’s Cabinet. She said she was recommended to Marcos by incoming Finance secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Marcos’ camp has repeatedly claimed that their estate tax case is still pending in court.

Former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, however, pointed out that an SC ruling issued on 9 May 1999 already declared that the liability of the Marcos family in the estate tax is “final and executory.”

Marcos’ estimated estate tax has reportedly reached around P203 billion due to penalties and surcharges.

Early this year, the BIR disclosed that it has sent a written demand to the Marcos family in December 2021 asking them to pay their estate taxes liability worth P203 billion.

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