Philippine court dismisses tax case against Manny Pacquiao

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Friday won a year-long court battle to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in additional taxes after an appeals court dismissed the case against him. Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee had been accused by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 2012 of owing more than 2.2 billion pesos ($37 million) in unpaid taxes for 2008 and 2009 in the United States, so this was not required in the Philippines , as the two countries have an agreement that allows their citizens to avoid double taxation.

At the time, President Benigno Aquino was waging a bloody campaign against tax evasion as part of a general crackdown on corruption.

Pacquiao, a former world champion and politician, became one of the most prominent targets of tax manhunts.

However, the tax office based its assessment on “unchecked news articles”, the tax administration court found.

In a 49-page judgment, the court found that “the ground for assessing income tax is void for breach of the applicants’ right to due process and lack of sufficient factual basis.”

The verdict was announced on September 29, but apparently only published on Friday.

Pacquiao, who was reportedly among the country’s largest taxpayers in 2008 and 2009, welcomed the decision.

“Since the beginning of my career, I have made sure to pay all my taxes because it helps our government,” he said in a statement.

“I thank the Lord that the truth has come out.”

AFP could not reach the tax office for comment. It is not known whether the decision will be appealed.

Pacquiao, who retired from boxing last year to become the Philippines’ presidential candidate, is deeply admired for moving out of poverty to become one of the biggest and wealthiest fighters in the world.

But he has also earned many critics for his support for former President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war, homophobic remarks and lack of education.

Pacquiao has been gearing up for a benefit match against martial arts YouTuber DK Yoo scheduled for December 10 in Seoul.

He ended his 26-year boxing career by a points loss to Cuban Yordenis Ugas in August 2021 and, in addition to being a former senator, did not run for president of his country earlier this year.

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Pacquiao’s net worth as of 2020 was nearly $54 million, according to Senate data.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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