DOJ upholds tax evasion case vs Rappler
State prosecutors said there is basis to charge the news site with tax evasion.
The National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice (DOJ) ruled that the complaint lodged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against online news portal Rappler.com had merit.
In a resolution on Oct. 2, Assistant State Prosecutor Zenamar J.L. Machacon-Caparros said the BIR’s complaint against Rappler’s mother firm, Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) and president Maria Ressa had basis.
The BIR is accusing Rappler of evading taxes by withholding correct and accurate income statements. RHC reportedly did not declare earnings in 2015 from issuing Philippine depositary receipts (PDRs) to investors NBM Rappler L.P. and Omidyar Network Find LLC.
“The subscription price for said PDRs was P181.6M. RHC allegedly gained close to P162.5M from the transaction, which it failed to declare in its tax return,” DOJ Undersecretary Markk L. Perete said in a statement.
“By not declaring such profits in its returns, the RHC has violated the Tax Code.”
Rappler is also facing cyberlibel charges and had its incorporation papers revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the PDRs, which is said to have violated constitutional limits on foreign ownership.