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unpaid capital gains by previous owner - civil vs criminal case

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Arresto Menor
(Note: A similar post is under Property).

I bought a lot and it was transferred to my name. But when I sold it, and I was going to pay the capital gains for the title to be transferred to the new buyer, I was being asked by the BIR to pay the capital gains of the previous owner because it was not paid. I had to pay it otherwise the buyer is not going to pay me the rest of the payment for the lot.  

The previous owner hired an agent to do all the processing of the transfer of the title to my name including paying for the capital gains.  I found out that the bank deposit slips and Certificate Authorizing Transfer used for the transfer were fake. The agent said he entrusted the processing to another person.

The previous owner does not want to pay me and wanted me to go after his agent. The amount due including interests, charges and penalties is more than P140,000. We signed a conditional deed of sale clearly stating that teh previous owner is going to shoulder all the expenses for the transfer of the title to me.

I reported it to the police and an estafa case was filed. During the preliminary investigation, the prosecutor dismissed the case saying that the previous owner acted in good faith and did not intend deceit. That this is more of of a civil case than a criminal case.

What should I do? I cannot afford to pay for a lawyer at this time.

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Reclusion Perpetua

I'm sorry to know about your situation. Since the contract of agency was between the previous owner and the agent, you can ask the previous owner to execute a Special Power of Attorney in your favor, so you can go after the agent.

You can first send him a demand letter for the amount of the taxes and penalties you paid (corresponding only to the previous owner). If he does not want to pay, you can pursue legal action. You do not have a choice but to pursue legal action if the agent insists on not paying/reimbursing you for the taxes and penalties you paid.

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