Charge for abetting non-payment of Estate Tax

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) today filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) a criminal complaint against Juan Miguel V. Ongsiako (JUAN MIGUEL) for his participation in the sale/transfer of ownership of a parcel of land belonging to the Estate of Oscar Ongsiako designed to evade the payment of the corresponding estate tax.

Juan Miguel was charged with one (1) count of willful attempt to evade or defeat payment of Estate Tax, one (1) count of willful attempt to evade or defeat payment of Documentary Stamp Tax and one (1) count each for willful failure to file Estate Tax Return and Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) Return, and to pay tax, in violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the NIRC of 1997, as amended.

For willfully aiding and abetting in the commission of tax evasion in the sale of the subject land, Juan Miguel was likewise charged with one (1) count of willful attempt to evade or defeat payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT), and one (1) count of willful failure to file CGT Return, and to pay tax, all in violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the NIRC of 1997, as amended.

Juan Miguel is a Filipino citizen and a resident of No. 2292-2294 Magnolia St., Dasmariñas Village, Makati City. He is the son/heir of Oscar and Nori Ongsiako.

Investigation by the BIR revealed that the subject land located in Roxas Blvd., Pasay City was sold by Nori Ongsiako to Juan Miguel on 25 October 2005, purportedly with the conformity of Oscar Ongsiako who died in 1995. Nori Ongsiako died in 2008.

Furthermore, investigation revealed that ownership of the subject land was eventually transferred to Juan Miguel by the Register of Deeds of Pasay City without any Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) being issued by the BIR which shows that the required CGT and DST returns had been filed and that the taxes due thereon had been paid.

The BIR concluded that the sale between Nori Ongsiako and Juan Miguel was part of a scheme to transfer the assets of Oscar Ongsiako to his heir Juan Miguel without filing the required estate tax return and paying the estate tax due thereon. The non-filing of the required CGT and DST returns, as well as the non-payment of the taxes due thereon, is likewise part of the scheme of Nori and Juan Miguel to avoid discovery of the death of Oscar Ongsiako and thus, ensure their impunity from the payment of estate tax.

As a result of said fraudulent scheme, Juan Miguel was found liable to pay estate tax, CGT and DST amounting to P3.65 million, P5.11 million and P1.30 million, respectively, inclusive of surcharges and interests.

ROBERT M. GUILLERMO, in his capacity as Register of Deeds of Pasay City, was also charged for violating Section 258 (E) of the NIRC of 1997, as amended, for allowing the transfer of ownership of the subject land without a CAR from the BIR certifying that such transfer has been reported and that the CGT thereon has been paid.

The above master stroke of tax evasion could not have attained a level of sophistication without the aid of the Register of Deeds who willfully turned a blind eye and issued the new title without indicating the CAR serial number to decrease the probability of fraud detection.

The case against JUAN MIGUEL V. ONGSIAKO and ROBERT M. GUILLERMO is the seventy-seventh (77th) filed under the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program of the BIR under the leadership of Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares.