Manny Pacquiao Speaks out on Tax Evasion Case in Philippines

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2013

MACAU - NOVEMBER 24:  Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates winning against Brandon Rios of the U.S. during their 'Clash in Cotai' WBO International Welterweight title fight on November 24, 2013 in Macau.  (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)
Nicky Loh/Getty Images

Boxer Manny Pacquiao intends to help typhoon victims in his native Philippines following his victory over Brandon Rios, but "Pac-Man" has been unable to live up to his word thus far due to the fact his bank accounts have been frozen by Philippine revenue authorities, according to the Associated Press

Pac-Man is reportedly under investigation because he has yet to prove that he paid taxes in 2008-09. Pacquiao claims that he paid taxes in the United States during that time frame, which would protect him from double taxation, but it is said that he owes $50 million in back taxes in the Philippines.

Pacquiao argues that he earned the money that is currently being kept from him.

"The money that was garnished by (the Bureau of Internal Revenue) is not stolen," he said. "This came from all of the punches, beatings, blood and sweat that I endured in the ring."

According to the Associated Press, however, the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue is simply waiting for proof from the United States Internal Revenue Service that Pacquiao paid. Rather than getting proper documentation, though, Pacquiao gave revenue authorities a letter from Top Rank and HBO.

"That is self-serving and a mere scrap of paper," said Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares. "What he can do is go to the IRS, ask IRS to certify this copy (of his tax payments) as a true copy. We have been waiting for that for two years."

Promoter Bob Arum released a statement regarding the situation via

“Filipino authorities confirmed that Manny is not required to pay double tax. If Manny paid U.S. taxes for fights and endorsements that occurred on U.S. soil, he is not required to pay double taxes in the Philippines.

For each of Manny’s fights that occurred in the United States, including those in 2008 and 2009, Top Rank withheld 30% of Manny's purses and paid those monies directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Top Rank has deposit confirmations for each payment. Top Rank has done the same for all U.S. endorsements it has facilitated on Manny's behalf.

Top Rank submitted copies of the EFT deposit acknowledgements to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as proof of payment. The BIR received the documents but directed Manny to obtain “certified” documents directly from the IRS itself.

As I am sure people appreciate, obtaining certified copies of documents from the IRS takes time. Manny made the formal request to the IRS and we have every expectation that the necessary documents will be furnished to the BIR very soon."

Despite the garnishment of his wages, Pacquiao has taken measures to help those in need in the Philippines. Pac-Man borrowed $22,700 to purchase relief supplies, and he plans to help more than 10,000 families.

According to BBC News, the death toll stemming from the typhoon is an estimated 2,500, while 673,000 people have been displaced.

Pacquiao is one of the wealthiest and most influential people in the Philippines, so the situation that he currently finds himself in is undoubtedly slowing the typhoon aid process.

Although it is unclear when this situation will be resolved, Pacquiao now has even more money to his credit following his win over Rios. According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Pac-Man made at least $18 million and as much as $30 million off the fight.

Pacquiao is guaranteed $18 million and can make close to $30 million. Rios is guaranteed $4 million. Zou Shiming is earning $500,000.

— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) November 20, 2013

Pacquiao won't be able to touch any of that until he provides satisfactory proof that he paid proper taxes in 2008-09, though. At the very least, Pacquiao asked that he be allowed to access money to pay his Philippine Congress staff members, according to the Associated Press.

"I appeal to them to remove the garnishment so that I can move and pay for my staff's salaries," Pacquiao told reporters. "I am not a criminal or a thief."

Pacquiao is worth a reported $100 million, per, so he has the money necessary to pay the $50 million penalty if he must, but Pac-Man seems poised to fight this for as long as he can.


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