ABS-CBN found way to avoid paying taxes - ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap

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Tax allegations against Kapamilya network ABS-CBN Corporation were brought up on last weeks' hearing as they continue into the franchise application of the country's largest media company that the president previously vowed would be shut down.

According to ACT-CIS Representative Eric Yap, it is unfair for ordinary Filipinos that ABS-CBN has been “avoiding” paying taxes for a long time.

The legislative caretaker of Benguet made the statement during the House hearing on the ABS-CBN franchise.

"It became clear to us that they were involved in a tax avoidance scheme by means of distribution companies in Luxembourg, Hungary, and the Cayman Islands. Foreigners can put their assets and businesses here to avoid paying higher taxes in their countries. This is tax avoidance. ABS-CBN is a tax avoider. This is a wake-up call for us to study the present tax regulations in the country." said Yap in a previous hearing.

Although Lawmakers acknowledged during the hearing that tax avoidance is not illegal, however, the panel said it would invite Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay to a future hearing said last Tuesday.

He explained further that the beleaguered media company set up distribution companies in “tax haven” countries like Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Hungary.

“What does tax haven mean? It is a country or independent area where taxes are levied at a low rate. Various reading materials state tax havens offer themselves as a place where non-residents can escape high taxes by putting their assets or businesses in that jurisdiction. Exactly what ABS-CBN has been doing for a long time,” Yap explained.

“They can say whatever they want, they can say that they just want to be competitive in the international market but at the end of the day, naiwasan nila ang pagbabayad ng 30% tax sa ating bansa,” he added.

The party list Rep. criticized ABS-CBN for alleged “carefully crafted scheme to avoid paying taxes.”

“Yung mga kababayan nating mga ordinaryong manggagawa at mga maliliit na negosyante ay nagbabayad ng tama pero ang ABS-CBN nakahanap ng paraan para makaiwas magbayad ng tamang taxes,” Yap said.

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