Apart from overpricing, the Busan Universal Railway Inc. (BURI) has committed tax fraud thereby denying the government millions of potential revenues, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles said.
“This is already beyond greed. BURI wants us to pay them P3.8 Billion for very sloppy service and still wants to cheat us by misdeclaring in their tax filings. They have perjured in Congress before and it is not surprising that they have falsified documents through the years” Nograles said.
In a letter to Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Commissioner Cesar Dulay, Nograles asked the BIR to look deeper into the tax filings of the BURI incorporators namely: Busan Universal Rail Inc with company tax information number (TIN) 009-197-694; Elpidio Silvestre Uy ( Edison Development and Construction) with TIN 100-457-776-000; Tramat Mercantile Inc. with TIN 000-330-611-000; TMIcorp Inc. with TIN 007-352-105; Castan Corporation with TIN 008-536-964-000 and Busan Transportation Corporation with TIN 457-732-838-000.
Nograles said that based on his investigation, at least four of BURI incorporators have misdeclared their taxable financial assets obviously to deny the government its much-needed tax revenues.
“It came to my attention that the aforementioned companies have invested huge amounts of money but have not appropriately filed or declared the same,” Nograles said.
Nograles cited the case of Edison Development and Construction which did not declare in their supposed P124.8 Million shareholding with BURI as required by law.
Tramat Mercantile Inc. on the other hand reported having only P27.7 Million in total assets but managed to invest P124.8 Million worth of BURI shares.
This is the same case for TMICorp which declared that it has a paid up share of P102 Million for BURI but declared no such amount in its Audited Financial Statement. Castan Corporation on the other hand has a paid up P60.3 Million worth of shares on BURI but has declared only P5.3 Million worth of actual assets.
Nograles suspects that either Tramat, TMICorp and Castan under-declared the actual value of their assets to decrease their tax obligations or were simply acting as dummy companies with no real capability to enter into any government project.
“These irregularities if proven to be true, may be violative of the National Internal Revenue Code, the Anti-Dummy Law and other laws, rules and regulation,” Nograles said in his letter to Dulay.
Nograles suspects that the highly anomalous MRT3 maintenance contract was rushed by the previous administration in their desperation to raise campaign funds for the 2016 national elections.
He said that the Department of Transportation should immediately rescind the contract and should stop all payments for BURI so as not to drag the present administration into this controversy.
” This is a yellow contract and the DOTr should make sure that the Duterte administration will not be dragged into this. The BURI contract should be rescinded ASAP,” Nograles said.