December 2013 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Tax Law

National Internal Revenue Code; value-added tax; claim for input value-added tax refund; prescriptive period. Taxpayer filed its monthly and quarterly value-added tax (VAT) returns for the period beginning January 1, 2003 and ending on June 30, 2003. On August 9, 2004, it filed a claim for refund for its unutilized input VAT attributable to its zero-rated sales. Due to the failure of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) to act on the claim, the taxpayer filed a petition for review with the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) on May 5, 2005. The CIR argued that the period within which to file the petition for review had prescribed based on Section 112(D) (now 112 (C)) of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). The taxpayer, on the other hand, argued that the period had not yet prescribed based on Section 229 of the NIRC.The Court ruled that Section 112(D) (now 112 (C)) of the NIRC is the applicable provision. Section 229 applies only to erroneously or excessively collected taxes and input VAT is not an erroneously or excessively collected tax.  Therefore, Section 112(D) (now 112 (C))  prevails. In accordance with the case of  Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. San Roque Power Corporation, the taxpayer’s judicial claim for refund must be denied for having been filed late. Although taxpayer filed its administrative claim with the Bureau of Internal Revenue before the expiration of the two-year period in Section 112 (A) of the NIRC, it failed to comply with the 120 + 30 day period in Section 112 (D) (now 112 (C)) which requires that upon the inaction of the CIR for 120 days after the submission of the documents in support of the claim, the taxpayer has to file its judicial claim within 30 days from the lapse of the said period. In this case, the 120 days granted to the CIR to decide the case ended on December 7, 2004. Thus, taxpayer had 30 days therefrom, or until January 6, 2005 to file a petition for review with the CTA. Unfortunately, taxpayer only sought judicial relief on May 5, 2005 when it belatedly filed its petition to the CTA. Thus, CTA did not properly acquire jurisdiction over the claim. Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Dash Engineering Philippines, Inc., G.R.No. 184145, December 11,2013. 

(Caren thanks Carlos P. Garcia for assisting in the preparation of this post.)