Panelco owes BIR P400M taxes

October 20, 2014 at 6:05 am Leave a comment

By Yolanda Sotelo

LINGAYEN– The Pangasinan Electric Cooperative III (Panelco II) has been asked by the Court of Tax Appeals to pay accumulated unpaid taxes of P400 million and has approved the garnishment of its bank accounts and assets by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
During the question hour by the Sangguniang Panglalawigan last week, Provincial Board Member Ranjit Shahani asked the cooperative to allow the National Electrification Authority to take over the operations its operations before it goes bankrupt.
The Court of Tax Appeals has ruled as final and executory the collection of Panelco’s tax liability, approving the garnishment of its bank accounts worth P177 million and other assets worth P113 million, according to SP member Alfonso Bince Jr.
But Panelco III officer in charge Allan Casem said the cooperative would request the BIR to allow the Panelco III to pay P5 million yearly its tax debts until it would have finished paying the entire amount. The BIR however, wanted P10 million per annum, he said.
He said the cooperative’s management also would want a recomputation of the tax liabilities, claiming a part of the P400 million are value added taxes for generation and transmission charges that have been paid to a power supplier in Manila.
It is the BIR office in Urdaneta City which is collecting the unpaid taxes.

“We believe (the computation) is not accurate. We believe we are being asked to pay for taxes we have already paid,” Casem said.
Shahani said he offered to bring the PEC’s management group to BIR Commissioner Kim Henares to find out whether there was double taxation being imposed on the cooperative.
Bince said the SP would pass a resolution asking the NEA and the Cooperative Development Authority to investigate Panelco’s financial operations, saying its 300 employees “every now and then ask for increase in salaries.”
He said the Panelco also sends 20-30 employees to train in what is supposed to be for only two.
“We are going to suffer with lack of electricity because of incompetence and lack of management (expertise),” Bince said.
He asked Casem if it was true that a company was buying the cooperative that is why its management seems not to care anymore if it goes bankrupt. Casem denied Bince’s claims, saying he was not heard of any buy-out of the cooperative.
Board Member Mojamito Libunao wondered why the Panelco’s management did not hire a tax lawyer to help solve the tax backlog problem until the Court of Tax Appeals already issued a decision “which is final and executory.”
“Your right to question the tax liabilities has expired. You should have questioned the amount when it was being controverted, “ he said.
He asked what the assurance was that (the cooperative) would not stop operations in case the garnishment is sustained.
“We are preparing a scheme. We will try to talk with the BIR for a reconstructed payment scheme,” he said.
The Panelco serves around 150,000 member-consumers in 16 towns and a city in the fifth, sixth and third district of Pangasinan.

Entry filed under: News.

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