Drugstore chain owner tops BIR list of taxpayers

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MANILA -- Vivian Que Azcona of Mercury Drug emerged as the country’s top individual income taxpayer for 2012, with several show-biz personalities behind her, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

 

Based on the Top 500 income taxpayers for last year, which the BIR released on Monday, Azcona paid P131.43 million in income tax, more than double the tax paid by the second-biggest taxpayer.

TV host Wilfredo Buendia Revillame, popularly known as Willie Revillame, came in second, paying an income tax of P63.9 million.

At No. 3 was Estelito Mendoza, who owns E.P. Mendoza Law Office and who served as solicitor general from 1972 to 1986. He paid an income tax of P56.59 million.

 

Kris, John Lloyd, Sharon

Show-biz personality Kristina Bernadette Aquino, or “Kris,” youngest sister of President Aquino, was in sixth place, having paid P44.93 million. Last year, Kris, who serves as endorser of several consumer brands, was the top individual income taxpayer.

John Lloyd Cruz and Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan settled for eighth and ninth place, with tax payments of P42.79 million and P42.025 million, respectively.

The Zobel brothers took the 10th and 11th spots. Fernando Zobel de Ayala paid P40.85 million and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, P40.78 million.

The BIR earlier explained that the list of top taxpayers was based on regular income taxes paid resulting from transactions and not static assets.

This means a tycoon who has much bigger assets could possibly trail behind someone in terms of income taxes paid.

 

Excluded

The BIR said the list of top individual taxpayers excluded those whose taxes were withheld and paid on their behalf by companies that employ them.

Thus, a person who owns a company and serves as its top official may not find himself on the list if the firm paid the taxes on his behalf.

The agency also said the list took into account only income tax paid and not other taxes. It noted that many business personalities were generating a significant portion of their earnings from dividends from shares of stocks, which have a tax different from the regular income tax.

Other show-biz personalities on the BIR list were Judy Anne Santos-Agoncillo, in 32nd place with an income tax of P24.09 million; Piolo Jose Nonato Pascual, 34th place, with P23.36 million; Anne Ojales Curtis-Smith, 50th place, with P19.17 million;

Sarah Geronimo was No. 59, with P18.32 million; Robin Cariño Padilla, No. 60, with P18.26 million; Derek Arthur Ramsay, No. 68, with P16.7 million; and Marvic Castelo Sotto, No. 89, with P14.62 million.

 

Pacquiao, Sy, Tan

Boxing icon Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao paid P22.38 million, earning him the 36th spot.

Henry Sy Jr. and his father, Henry Sy Sr., claimed the 73rd and 74th spots, having paid P16.47 million and P16.4 million in regular income taxes, respectively.

Lucio Tan came in at 138th, with an income tax of P11.97 million.

The Sys and Tan were topped by other famous business personalities.

In particular, Felipe Gozon landed in 41st place, with an income tax payment of P20.9 million; Eugenio Lopez III, 43rd place, with P20.76 million; Lucio Co, 47th, with P19.76 million; Arthur Ty, 77th, with P16 million; and Ramon Ang, 160th, with P10.99 million.

 

Tax evasion campaign

The BIR has been posting the list of top taxpayers as part of its campaign against tax evasion. With the practice, the agency aims to encourage the remittance of proper taxes and discourage tax cheating.

Last year, the BIR achieved a milestone by breaking the P1-trillion mark in annual tax collection.

This year, the BIR aims to beat its 2012 performance and hit the P1.253-trillion target set by the country’s economic team.