Registrar of Deeds gets tangled for unpaid taxes

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) today filed a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice against STEPHEN LEE KENG (KENG) and Elvinario A. Valenzuela (VALENZUELA) for two (2) counts of willful attempt to evade taxes, one (1) count of willful failure to file Capital Gains Tax Return and one (1) count of willful failure to file Documentary Stamp Tax Return, in connection with the transfer of a condominium unit and a parking lot in Manila, all in violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended (Tax Code). 

Also charged was ATTY. MARISSA E. TIMONES  (TIMONES), Registrar of Deeds, City of Manila, for violation of Section 58 (E) of the Tax Code.

Investigation showed that KENG sold to VALENZUELA a residential condominium unit and a parking lot located at 1503-B 15th Flr. Tower B and U2P-08 Parking No. 8, Upper 2nd Flr., respectively, of Alpha Grandview Condominium in M.H. del Pilar St., Malate, Manila, for P3.2 million as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 23, 2010.

The said sales transaction, however, never went through the BIR and thus, the corresponding capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax returns were not filed as required by the Tax Code. Correspondingly, the taxes due thereon were never paid and remitted to the government. As a consequence of these omissions, no Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) was issued by the BIR for the transfer of the said properties from KENG to VALENZUELA.

Despite the absence of the requisite CAR, however, ownership of the above-stated two (2) properties was still transferred from KENG to VALENZUELA as shown by the issuance of new Condominium Certificates of Title (CCT) Nos. 85245 and 85246 in the name of the latter.

For their acts and omissions in violation of the Tax Code, KENG was assessed capital gains tax amounting to P461,433.37, including surcharges and interests, while VALENZUELA was sued for unpaid documentary stamp tax in the total amount of P115,953.63, inclusive of surcharges and interests.

TIMONES, on the other hand, was charged for allowing the transfer of the titles to said properties from KENG to VALENZUELA despite the non-payment of the appropriate taxes and the non-issuance of the requisite CAR.

The case against STEPHEN LEE KENG, Elvinario A. Valenzuela and ATTY. MARISSA E. TIMONES is the 135th filed under the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program of the BIR under the leadership of Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares. It is likewise a RATE case of Revenue Region No. 6, Manila.