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BIR goes after cockfighting group for P1.30-B in unpaid taxes

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Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
BW FILE PHOTO

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has temporarily halted the operations of the Manila Cockers Club, Inc. (MCCI) for not paying proper taxes. It also sealed some of MCCI’s unregistered ticket-dispensing machines on Thursday.

Citing a report from the bureau, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters via Viber that MCCI has P1.3 billion of unpaid taxes and that it has no registered automated ticket dispensing machines in any of its 132 locations nationwide.

As of Thursday evening, “51 machines were simultaneously sealed by 20 teams in 19 locations in Quezin City,” Mr. Dominguez said. The operation was led by Deputy Commissioner Marissa O. Cabreros.

Ms. Cabreros explained that using unregistered machines is subject to corresponding penalties and liabilities since businesses are mandated to register their machines with the BIR for proper monitoring of sales and transactions.

She added that if the company attempts to operate the sealed machines again, they will “incur further penalties and liabilities by altering a formal government activity that was properly done by sealing those unregistered machines.”

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Sought for comment, MCCI has not responded as of press time.

“What we did is what we call constructive seizure by sealing it, may notice na nakalagay, may pirma para hindi maalter ’yung seal na ginawa, at hindi na nila magamit (a notice was placed on them with a signature so the seal cannot be altered and the machine can no longer be used) until such time that they properly comply with the registration requirement of the BIR,” Ms. Cabreros told reporters.

However according to its website, MCCI claims that it “is the only cockfighting event entity that pays taxes due to its legal operations.”

“[MCCI] licenses were granted by the local government unit (LGU) of Carmona, Cavite. The permits of MCCI ‘off cockpit betting stations’ are granted by LGUs where they operate as mandated by the cockfigthing law,” the website read.

Without disclosing the exact figure, Ms. Cabreros had said the company faces “billions of liabilities.” — Beatrice M. Laforga

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