Death, and taxes. The first is a given, and by and large so is the second, though some folks do manage to dodge ’em for a spell. Usually, though, that reprieve runs out, and you have to pay the man. Manny Pacquiao, fresh off a triumph in the ring, is faced now with a somewhat fiercer foe than Brandon Rios. No punching bag is the Filipino version of the IRS, the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), who have frozen Pacman’s funds, because they want the fighting Congressman to prove to them that he’s paid taxes in the US for the fights he had there. In no way am I even so much as implying that Pacquiao is or has been engaged in tax dodging, but this case needs to play out, before we can decide if all the man’s Ts were crossed by the folks he’s employed to advise him on such matters. His promoter, Bob Arum, who in the last couple years has spoken up without a hint of shy about what he feels are the excessively large tax rates that mega-earners such as Pacquiao are subject to in the US, offered this statement for public consumption regarding Manny’s tax issues:
“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.”