Regine to air side on tax evasion case
Singer-actress Regine Velasquez is expected to clear her name from tax evasion charges filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) when she flies home from the United States this weekend.
An ABS-CBN News source said Velasquez has no intentions to break the law, but there may have been lapses in the accounting and reporting of all her earnings two years ago.
Through her representative, Velasquez earlier said she has been consistently filing her tax returns for the past several years.
Last week, officials of the Department of Finance (DOF) and BIR filed the complaint against the singer whom they accused of under-declaring her income by P3.75 million and filing a false or fraudulent Income Tax Return in 2003.
The officials said the amount representing Velasquez’s income as a product endorser of Nestlé Philippines is an under-declaration of her true income for the year by 48.29 percent. Velasquez only declared an income of P7.7 million from her projects with Viva Television Corp., Maximedia International Inc. and GMA-7.
According to BIR Commissioner Guillermo Parayno Jr., Velasquez is liable for violating the Internal Revenue Code which penalizes a taxpayer who fails to declare more than 30 percent of his or her income.
Parayno said those found guilty of tax under-declaration face fines and imprisonment of between one to 10 years.
Velasquez, dubbed Asia's Songbird by local media, is wrapping up a US concert tour with concert queen Pops Fernandez.
After their performance in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Friday, Velasquez and Fernandez will fly to Washington, D.C. on Saturday for the last leg of the tour.
Velasquez, meanwhile, broke her silence for the first time on the attempted "alien smuggling" case she faced back in 2000 when the US Embassy denied her application for an entertainer's visa.
The singer was interviewed in the pilot episode of the show "Citizen Pinoy," which is hosted by Odette Keely, Mike Guingona and celebrity immigration lawyer Michael Gurfinkel.
Velasquez thanked Gurfinkel for his legal assistance, which cleared the way for the singer to once again enter the US.
"My passport visa was stamped cancelled with prejudice. I should have been more aware of my responsibilities. I should know everything and everyone who's in my entourage. That experience taught me to be not too trusting," Velasquez said in the interview.
A project by ABS-CBN International, "Citizen Pinoy" will air on The Filipino Channel and ABS-CBN News Channel starting May 8.