Wong Chu King not yet off the hook: Dominguez says Mighty has to face criminal charges
Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez is still weighing the offer of Mighty Corp. of the Wong Chu King family who hoped to settle by July 20 all the firm’s tax liabilities and penalties with the Bureau of Internal Revenue for P25 billion.
This is a 34 discount to the P37.88 billion owed by Mighty to the BIR due to its evasion of excise taxes and use of counterfeit tax stamps in millions of cigarettes packs seized from its warehouses.
“We are studying the offer,” Dominguez said after reviewing the settlement offer sent by Mighty Corp. to BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay in a letter dated July 10, 2017.
Dominguez, however, was adamant that Mighty’s settlement offer would only cover the three charges of tax evasion filed by the BIR. Dominguez said that these charges were separate from the criminal charges that might be filed in court by BIR against Mighty.
In his letter to the BIR, Mighty President and Director Oscar Barrientos appealed to Dulay to reinvestigate its pending criminal complaints after making the initial payment.
Barrientos said the P25 settlement would be funded from an “interim loan” from JT International Philippines (JTI) which has offered to buy Mighty lock, stock and barrel for P45 billion.
Based on its settlement offer, Mighty would pay P3.5 billion in deficiency excise taxes on its cigarette products that were the subject of the three tax cases pending before the Department of Justice; and P21.5 billion representing the liabilities of the company and its shareholders, as well as the company officers for all internal revenue taxes, including income tax from 2010 to 2016.
Barrientos said Mighty would get out of the cigarette business after selling out to JTI.