omg! Philippines News Blog

BIR names top celebrity taxpayers; Willie leads list

There is no question. The top celebrities in the country are among those with the fattest pockets in the country. But do they also pay their taxes regularly?

Not necessarily. In fact, even the biggest names in show business have been under the Bureau of Internal Revenue's tight watch and charged with tax evasion.

However, there are celebrities who painstakingly fulfill their duties to the government. According to the BIR's Top 500 Individual Tax Payers for the Taxable Year 2009 available on the agency's website, at least twelve celebrities were among 2009's highest tax payers.

Willie Revillame (number 3 overall) is the top taxpayer in show business, paying P57,248,831.34 in taxes, followed by Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan (ranked number 18), with P19,546,807.70, Kris Aquino (placed 39th), with P12,786,797.52, Piolo Pascual (50th), with P11,509,860.48, and Marian Rivera (62nd), with P10,115,118.10.

Others show biz personalities in the BIR list include:

John Lloyd Cruz (#86) - P8,599,032.56
Judy Ann Santos (#97) - P8,210,404.89
Manny Pacquiao (#113) - P7,410,221.44
Vic Sotto (#158) - P6,262,055.70
Vilma Santos Recto (#196) - P5,612,132.22
Sarah Geronimo (#261) - P4,893,310.04
Kim Chiu (#302)- P4,605,017.71

Two news personalities were also part of the BIR list. They are Maria Ressa paying P5,905,472.27 in taxes (173rd) and Julius Babao (175th), with P5,883,926.84

Top executives from the three big television networks were also on the list.

GMA Network chairman Atty. Felipe Gozon placed 12th overall paying P22,197,202.29 in taxes.
TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, on the other hand, placed 20th overall with P19,284,666.67. TV5 president Atty. Ray Espinosa, meanwhile, landed 33rd with P13,993,593.38.

ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III paid P5,151,108.60 in taxes, ending up 242nd overall while the Kapamilya network's entertainment head Ma. Socorro Vidanes placed 401st with P3,992,264.00 in tax payments last year.

Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao is now being questioned after only paying P7 million pesos compared to 2008's PHP 125 M tax payment. He ranked number one during 2008's Top 500 tax payers list but slid to number 113 for 2009.

"Wala naman hong pinagbago noong 2008 sa 2009, I think sa dalawang taon obvious naman na may dalawang laban siya; sa dalawang taon na yun, parati naman siyang may endorsements," said a representative from the BIR in an interview aired in TV Patrol, Monday.

Other tax payers who ranked low in the list but ranked high in Forbes will also be subjected to investigation according to the BIR.

Photos of Willie Revillame and Kris Aquino by NPPA Images, photos of Piolo Pascual and Sharon Cuneta courtesy of ABS-CBN

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