Court orders BIR to refund P15.29-M VAT to mining firm

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MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Tax Appeals has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to refund or issue a tax credit certificate worth P15.29 million in favor of Semirara Mining.

In a decision by the CTA en banc penned by Associate Justice Olga Palanca-Enriquez, the court dismissed the appeal filed by the BIR for lack of merit.

“After a careful examination of the arguments raised in the instant petition, the Court enbanc finds that the issues raised by petitioner are a [BIR] are a mere rehash of the motion for reconsideration…and present no new arguments nor new matters which have not been considered and passed upon by the [CTA] First Division,” the tax court said.

The P15.29 million represented the final withholding value-added tax on Semirara’s sale of coal for January 2007, which the National Power Corporation erroneously withheld and remitted to the BIR on February 9 of the same year.

Semirara is engaged in the exploration, mining, development and sale of coal resources supplies to the 600-megawatt Calaca coal power plant previously owned by Napocor and which the government-owned power firm turned over to DMCI Holdings.

The BIR insisted that in order to get a refund, Semirara has to submit several documents and it would be subjected to an administrative investigation.

However, Semirara argued that the CTA First Division has disregarded the procedural aspect of their claim for being irrelevant.

The tax court, in its ruling pointed out that Semirara was exempted from VAT pursuant to Republic Act 9337 which was promulgated to provide incentives to coal users and operators.

“The grant of respondent Semirara’s claim is not founded on mere estoppel on the part of the government but rather on an express grant of exemption,” the tax court said.

“The taxpayer expects fair dealing from the Government and the latter has the duty to refund without any unreasonable delay what it has erroneously collected.”

“If the state expects its taxpayers to observe fairness and honesty in paying their taxes, it must hold itself against the same standard in refunding excess [or erroneous] payments of such taxes,” the tax court said.

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  • http://twitter.com/gregson8000 Gregory Robinson

    Lets hope Pres Aquino goes after the BIR with all its corruption………..this should be top of his list because it effects everyone.

  • Mario_Garcia

    The Court is really making sense now.  Thank God!

  • ryan andres

    hahaha buti nga sa BIR… gahaman kasi

  • initrd

    The court now knows better than the BIR when it comes to taxes?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/RXZ5XENTQSFR6HPWMLEUG3TGGY Kerby

      weird eh?

    • James Liston

      They do. They have to study it in a paper called taxation law. :P Ask JPE, he is an expert on that field and even written the tax code which the BIR is using. :) 

    • Saint Luci

      “The court now knows better than the BIR when it comes to taxes?”
      Yeap. This is the court of tax appeals. They are the experts in interpreting tax laws.

      Besides, BIR is full of corrupt officials who would do anything to get a case into the court. Kahit walang basihan ang allegations. Between BIR and CTA, mas paniniwalaan ko CTA. This is based on personal first hand experience of the two.

    • http://jaoromero.com/ Jao Romero

      it’s the Court of Tax Appeals. dapat lng alam nila yan.

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