Manila, Philippines – Benjamin Franklin once said, “there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.” The Philippines’ tax collector-in-chief is making sure the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) lives up to its name.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has confirmed reports that she has ordered Michael Christian Martinez, the lone Filipino athlete who competed in the Sochi Winter Olympics, to be placed on the agency’s “watch list.” Although the 17 year-old figure skater did not win any medal in the skating competitions, Henares said that Martinez’s increasing popularity in the Philippines and abroad will certainly result in multi-million peso offers from commercial companies for product endorsements and advertisements. “We just want to make sure that the BIR will not miss out on taxes due from Martinez’s potential earnings, so we will be watching very closely,” Henares said.
This is not the first time that the BIR has gone after high-profile cases. It has gone after the earnings of world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao as well as the prize money and recording contract income of Rose Fostanes, the Filipino caregiver in Tel Aviv who recently won the top prize in the reality TV show, X Factor Israel.
“We would have preferred Michael to win the Olympic gold medal because gold commands a very high price in the stock market right now, but there’s always that possibility in 2018,” Henares told reporters.