The richest Filipinos listed in Forbes Magazine are not the Philippines’ top individual taxpayers. The nation’s top taxpayers are those who paid the most on their reported personal incomes, says the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The tycoons pay more income taxes overall than other taxpayers, but much of that is final withholding taxes on interest, dividend and other investment income. Such taxes are not reflected in personal income tax returns filed year-end.
The BIR explanations come in the wake of criticism that the wealthy are not tax compliant.
Business tycoon Henry Sy, named by Forbes as the richest Filipino with a net worth of US$12.7 billion, is number 80 on the BIR’s 2014 list of top 500 individual taxpayers. For 2014, Sy paid P26.2 million – about P200,000 less than what actor Piolo Pascaul paid. John Gokongwei, second wealthiest Filipino on Forbes’ list, paid P14.3 million personal income tax in 2014 to become number 159 on the BIR list. Lucio Tan, estimated by Forbes to be worth US$3.7 billion net, was 130th on the BIR list, paying P16.2 million in income taxes.
In 2014, biscuit factory owner Jacinto Ng was first on the BIR’s list of top 500 individual taxpayers with P280.1 million paid in taxes that year. Ng was followed by Senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who paid P210.3 million.
The chief executive of Mercury Drug chain, Vivian Ascona, was third with tax payment of P153.5 million.