Sole proprietress and CPA charged with tax evasion

A May 24, 2012 press release from the Department of Finance, Bureau of Internal Revenue

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) today filed a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice against Teresita Develuz Aslam for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax and deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in her income tax return (ITR) and value added tax (VAT) return for taxable years 2009 and 2010, in violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended (Tax Code).

Likewise charged was Amado Nagar Sarto, the independent certified public accountant (CPA) who certified the financial statements of Aslam for 2009 and 2010, in violation of Section 257 of the Tax Code.

The case against Aslam stemmed from a preliminary investigation conducted by the BIR on the alleged tax evasion schemes being perpetrated by the former.

Among the customers of Aslam are Puregold Duty Free Subic Inc., Puregold Duty Free Inc., Aboitiz Transport System Corp., EVER, Makati Shangri-la Hotel and Resort Inc., Manila Hotel, Manila Polo Club, Marie-France Bodyline International, Robinsons Inc., Rustan Commercial Corp., Sofitel Philippine Plaza, The Peninsula Manila, Gaisano Dadiangas Inc., Megaworld Corporation, and Waterfront Management Corp.

Certifications of income payments obtained from Puregold and an examination of the copies of the schedule of purchases from Aslam revealed that Aslam received income payments amounting to P84.59 million in 2009 and P85.66 million in 2010.

A comparison of the ITR Aslam filed and the data gathered by BIR investigators showed an underdeclaration of sales of more than 30percent. Under the Tax Code, an underdeclaration of more than 30 percent constitutes fraud tantamount to tax evasion.

Aslam was assessed a total deficiency tax liability of P67.79 million, inclusive of surcharges and interests, broken down into: Income Tax – P32.58 million (2009) and P35.21 million (2010); VAT – P9.97 million (2009) and P12.17 million (2010).

Sarto, on the other hand, was included in the charge sheet for issuing an unqualified opinion in his certification of the 2009 and 2010 audited financial statements of Aslam despite knowledge of the existence of such income payments/underdeclarations.

The case against Aslam and Sarto is the 109th filed under the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program of the BIR under the leadership of Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares.