ABS-CBN clarifies they have ‘no unpaid taxes’ amid fight to renew franchise

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 11) — Media giant ABS-CBN maintained Tuesday it "did not violate the law" and has no outstanding tax liability as it faces a petition before the Supreme Court to nullify its legislative franchise.

READ: ABS-CBN: 'We did not violate the law'

“ABS-CBN has no tax liability with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). In fact, the BIR issued a Tax Clearance Certificate to ABS-CBN in 2019,” the statement read.

In 2019, the Court of Tax Appeals approved a settlement deal between ABS-CBN and BIR, which saw the broadcasting network shelling out ₱152.44 million, which is equivalent to 40 percent of its assessed deficiency in income tax, value-added tax, and documentary stamp tax payments.

The CTA second division approved the compromise agreement to settle the media company’s tax case.

READ: ABS-CBN settles tax case with BIR, pays ₱152 million

The statement also cited that ABS-CBN has paid a total of ₱70.5 billion in taxes to the government in a span of 17 years.

“We remain grateful to for the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the nation, whether through the services we offer to the people or by paying our taxes to the government,” said the statement.

Fighting for franchise renewal

ABS-CBN is presently facing a quo warranto petition that seeks to invalidate its franchise, which will expire on March 20. Solicitor General Jose Calida filed the petition before the Supreme Court Monday, saying the network has violated rules set by Congress when it approved the franchise in 1995.

Calida further said that the “highly abusive practices of ABS-CBN” went unnoticed for years and that he wanted to put an end to it.

On the other hand, lawmakers said that the TV network can still continue its operations even if its franchise expires, as there are already pending bills to renew the media company’s license.