CTA resets execution of sentence on tax evader

June 29, 2012 10:42 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

MANILA, June 29 – The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has reset the execution of sentence on Gloria V. Kintanar "for the last time to July 2, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. with final warning that no further postponement will be allowed."

"The accused is ordered to be present on July 2, 2012 at 9:00 a.m., otherwise Warrant of Arrest shall be issued against the accused for service of sentence," the CTA said.

Kintanar did not appear at the CTA on June 26, 2012 for the execution of her sentence and her lawyer showed up in court bearing a notarized medical certificate that said she had hypertension and dizziness.

Kintanar's lawyer has also sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) pending action on a motion filed before the Supreme Court (SC).

The CTA issued a hold departure order (HDO) against Kintanar on June 26, 2012.

Gloria V. Kintanar will be the first tax evader in the Philippines to go behind bars. She was a distributor of the Forever Living Products. Her husband, Benjamin Kintanar, was also charged with the same offense.

The SC's Third Division upheld the CTA's ruling finding Kintanar guilty of two counts of violating Section 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code, or failing to supply the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) with correct and accurate information and the judgement on her case has become final and executory.

The BIR sought the issuance of a writ of execution on March 1, 2012 seeking the payment of some P6.3 million in taxes from Kintanar and the issuance of a warrant for her arrest and an HDO.

The CTA sentenced Gloria Kintanar to imprisonment for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years for each violation.

The Kintanar tax evasion case is a landmark case because the SC affirmed the CTA's doctrine on "willful blindness" that sets the precedent for future cases.

The CTA doctrine on "willful blindness" simply means that an individual or corporation can no longer say that the errors on their tax returns are not their responsibility or that it is the fault of the accountant they hired.

The said doctrine was written by the CTA's Second Division composed of Associate Justices Juanito C. Castaneda Jr., Olga Palanca-Enriquez and Erlinda P. Uy.

The CTA said that an act is willful if it is "voluntary, conscious and intentional" and that bad motive or intent to defraud need not be shown. The only thing that needs to be shown is that she is aware of her obligation to file annual income tax returns but "she nevertheless, voluntarily, knowingly and intentionally failed to file the required returns."

"It is a settled principle in agency that a principal is liable for the acts/omissions of his/her agent within his/her express authority because the act/omission of such agent is the act/omission of the principal," the CTA said.

"Under this rule, the principal is bound by the acts of her agent because of the apparent authority which she knowingly permitted the agent to assume," it added.

The BIR filed the case against Kintanar in 2005 for failing to file her Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for 2000 and 2001.

Kintanar earned substantial income as independent contractor of Forever Living Products Philippines Inc. and has been asked by the BIR several times from 2003 to 2005 to pay her taxes. (PNA)

scs/PTR

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