Maria Ressa files P204k bail before CTA
Rappler’s Maria Ressa on Tuesday posted a bail bond of P204,000 for four counts of tax evasion before Court of Tax Appeals.
The Department of Justice one count for violating Section 254 of Republic Act 8424, or the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines for attempting to evade or defeat tax, and three counts of willful failure to supply correct and accurate information in violation of Section 255 also of RA 8424.
The filing came after government prosecutors found probable cause to indict Rappler Holdings Corporation, its president Ressa, and certified public accountant Noel Baladiang.
The case arose from the complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which alleged that RHC’s 2015 tax returns did not reflect the total gains of almost P162.5 million which it realized from the issuance of its Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to NBM Rappler L.P. and Omidyar Network Find LLC.
In its complaint, the BIR alleged that on various dates from 2014 to 2015 RHC purchased a total of 119,434,438 common shares from Rappler Inc. (RI) at P1 per share.
Thereafter, the BIR indicated that RHC issued PDRs against most of the RI shares that it held to NBM Rappler and Omidyar.
With the subscription price for the PDRs at P181.6 million, the BIR said RHC gained close to P162.5 million from the transaction, which was not declared in its tax returns.
This means that RHC owes the government around P108 million in taxes including P91,320,480.99 in income tax including surcharge and interests as well as P17,138,467.78 in value added tax excluding surcharge and interests.