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CHAMBER OF REAL ESTATE AND BUILDERS ASSOCIATION, INC. VS.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY- MINIMUM CORPORATE INCOME TAX


FACTS:
CREBA assails the imposition of the minimum corporate income tax (MCIT) as being violative of the due process clause as it levies income tax even if there is no realized gain. They also question the creditable withholding tax (CWT) on sales of real properties classified as ordinary assets stating that (1) they ignore the different treatment of ordinary assets and capital assets; (2) the use of gross selling price or fair market value as basis for the CWT and the collection of tax on a per transaction basis (and not on the net income at the end of the year) are inconsistent with the tax on ordinary real properties; (3) the government collects income tax even when the net income has not yet been determined; and (4) the CWT is being levied upon real estate enterprises but not on other enterprises, more particularly those in the manufacturing sector. MCIT Under the tax code a corporation can become subject to the mcit at the rate of 2% of Gross income, beginning on the 4th year immediately following the year in which it commenced its business operations, when such mcit is greater that the normal corporate income tax. If the regular income tax is higher than the mcit , the corporation does not pay the mcit.

ISSUE:
Are the impositions of the MCIT on domestic corporations and properties classified as ordinary assets unconstitutional? CWT on income from sales of real

HELD:
NO. MCIT does not tax capital but only taxes income as shown by the fact that the MCIT is arrived at by deducting the capital spent by a corporation in the sale of its goods, i.e., the cost of goods and other direct expenses from gross sales. Besides, there are sufficient safeguards that exist for the MCIT: (1) it is only imposed on the 4th year of operations; (2) the law allows the carry forward of any

excess MCIT paid over the normal income tax; and (3) the Secretary of Finance can suspend the imposition of MCIT in justifiable instances.

The regulations on CWT did not shift the tax base of a real estate business income tax from net income to GSP or FMV of the property sold since the taxes withheld are in the nature of advance tax payments and they are thus just installments on the annual tax which may be due at the end of the taxable year. As such the tax base for the sale of real property classified as ordinary assets remains to be the net taxable income and the use of the GSP or FMV is because these are the only factors reasonably known to the buyer in connection with the performance of the duties as a withholding agent. Neither is there violation of equal protection even if the CWT is levied only on the real industry as the real estate industry is, by itself, a class on its own and can be validly treated different from other businesses.

PEPSI COLA VS MUNICIPALITY OF TANUAN


Pepsi Cola has a bottling plant in the Municipality of Tanauan, Leyte. In September 1962, the Municipality approved Ordinance No. 23 which levies and collects from soft drinks producers and manufacturers a tai of one-sixteenth (1/16) of a centavo for every bottle of soft drink corked. In December 1962, the Municipality also approved Ordinance No. 27 which levies and collects on soft drinks produced or manufactured within the territorial jurisdiction of this municipality a tax of one centavo P0.01) on each gallon of volume capacity. Pepsi Cola assailed the validity of the ordinances as it alleged that they constitute double taxation in two instances: a) double taxation because Ordinance No. 27 covers the same subject matter and impose practically the same tax rate as with Ordinance No. 23, b) double taxation because the two ordinances impose percentage or specific taxes. Pepsi Cola also questions the constitutionality of Republic Act 2264 which allows for the delegation of taxing powers to local government units; that allowing local governments to tax companies like Pepsi Cola is confiscatory and oppressive. The Municipality assailed the arguments presented by Pepsi Cola. It argued, among others, that only Ordinance No. 27 is being enforced and that the latter law is an amendment of Ordinance No. 23, hence there is no double taxation. ISSUE: Whether or not there is undue delegation of taxing powers. Whether or not there is double taxation. HELD: No. There is no undue delegation. The Constitution even allows such delegation. Legislative powers may be delegated to local governments in respect of matters of local concern. By necessary implication, the legislative power to create political corporations for purposes of local self-government carries with it the power to confer on such local governmental agencies the power to tax. Under the New Constitution, local governments are granted the autonomous authority to create their own sources of revenue and to levy taxes. Section 5, Article XI provides: Each local government unit shall have the

power to create its sources of revenue and to levy taxes, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. Withal, it cannot be said that Section 2 of Republic Act No. 2264 emanated from beyond the sphere of the legislative power to enact and vest in local governments the power of local taxation. There is no double taxation. The argument of the Municipality is well taken. Further, Pepsi Colas assertion that the delegation of taxing power in itself constitutes double taxation cannot be merited. It must be observed that the delegating authority specifies the limitations and enumerates the taxes over which local taxation may not be exercised. The reason is that the State has exclusively reserved the same for its own prerogative. Moreover, double taxation, in general, is not forbidden by our fundamental law unlike in other jurisdictions. Double taxation becomes obnoxious only where the taxpayer is taxed twice for the benefit of the same governmental entity or by the same jurisdiction for the same purpose, but not in a case where one tax is imposed by the State and the other by the city or municipality.

QUEZON CITY VS. ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORPORATION - LOCAL FRANCHISE TAX


FACTS:
ABS-CBN was granted a franchise which provides that it shall pay a 3% franchise tax and the said percentage tax shall be in lieu of all taxes on this franchise or earnings thereof. It thus filed a complaint against the imposition of local franchise tax.

ISSUE:
Does the in lieu of all taxes provision in ABS-CBNs franchise exempt it from payment of the local franchise tax?

HELD:
NO. The right to exemption from local franchise tax must be clearly established beyond reasonable doubt and cannot be made out of inference or implications. The uncertainty over whether the in lieu of all taxes provision pertains to exemption from local or national taxes, or both, should be construed against Respondent who has the burden to prove that it is in fact covered by the exemption claimed. Furthermore, the in lieu of all taxes clause in Respondents franchise has become ineffective with the abolition of the franchise tax on broadcasting companies with yearly gross receipts exceeding P10 million as they are now subject to the VAT.

COMMISSIONER GR No. L-28896, February 17, 1988 158 SCRA 9

v.

ALGUE,

INC.

FACTS: Private respondent corporation Algue Inc. filed its income tax returns for 1958 and 1959showing deductions, for promotional fees paid, from their gross income, thus lowering their taxable income. The BIR assessed Algue based on such deductions contending that the claimed deduction is disallowed because it was not an ordinary, reasonable and necessary expense. ISSUE: Should an uncommon business expense be disallowed as a proper deduction in computation of income taxes, corollary to the doctrine that taxes are the lifeblood of the government? HELD: No. Private respondent has proved that the payment of the fees was necessary and reasonable in the light of the efforts exerted by the payees in inducing investors and prominent businessmen to venture in an xperimental enterprise and involve themselves in a new business requiring millions of pesos. This was no mean feat and should be, as it was, sufficiently recompensed. It is well-settled that taxes are the lifeblood of the government and so should be collected without unnecessary hindrance On the other hand, such collection should be made in accordance with law as any arbitrariness will negate the very reason for government itself. It is therefore necessary to reconcile the apparently conflicting interests of the authorities and the taxpayers so that the real purpose of taxation, which is the promotion of the common good, may be achieved. But even as we concede the inevitability and indispensability of taxation, it is a requirement in all democratic regimes that it be exercised reasonably and in accordance with the prescribed procedure. If it is not, then the taxpayer has a right to complain and the courts will then come to his succor. For all the awesome power of the tax collector, he may still be stopped in his tracks if the taxpayer can demonstrate, as it has here, that the law has not been observed.

PHIL. GR 13 SCRA 775

GUARANTY No.

CO., L-22074,

INC. April

v. 30,

CIR 1965

FACTS: The petitioner Philippine Guaranty Co., Inc., a domestic insurance company, entered into reinsurance contracts with foreign insurance companies not doing business in the country, thereby ceding to foreign reinsurers a portion of the premiums on insurance it has originally underwritten in the Philippines. The premiums paid by such companies were excluded by the petitioner from its gross income when it file its income tax returns for 1953 and 1954. Furthermore, it did not withhold or pay tax on them. Consequently, the CIR assessed against the petitioner withholding taxes on the ceded reinsurance premiums to which the latter protested the assessment on the ground that the premiums are not subject to tax for the premiums did not constitute income

from sources within the Philippines because the foreign reinsurers did not engage in business in the Philippines, and CIR's previous rulings did not require insurance companies to withhold income tax due from foreign companies. ISSUE: Are insurance companies not required to withhold tax on reinsurance premiums ceded to foreign insurance companies, which deprives the government from collecting the tax due from them? HELD: No. The power to tax is an attribute of sovereignty. It is a power emanating from necessity. It is a necessary burden to preserve the State's sovereignty and a means to give the citizenry an army to resist an aggression, a navy to defend its shores from invasion, a corps of civil servants to serve, public improvement designed for the enjoyment of the citizenry and those which come within the State's territory, and facilities and protection which a government is supposed to provide. Considering that the reinsurance premiums in question were afforded protection by the government and the recipient foreign reinsurers exercised rights and privileges guaranteed by our laws, such reinsurance premiums and reinsurers should share the burden of maintaining the state. The petitioner's defense of reliance of good faith on rulings of the CIR requiring no withholding of tax due on reinsurance premiums may free the taxpayer from the payment of surcharges or penalties imposed for failure to pay the corresponding withholding tax, but it certainly would not exculpate it from liability to pay such withholding tax. The Government is not estopped from collecting taxes by the mistakes or errors of its agents.

FELS ENERGY INC. VS THE PROVINCE OF BATANGAS


On January 18, 1993, NPC entered into a lease contract with Polar Energy, Inc. over 3x30 MW diesel engine power barges moored at Balayan Bay in Calaca, Batangas. The contract, denominated as an Energy Conversion Agreement5 (Agreement), was for a period of five years. Article 10 reads: 10.1 RESPONSIBILITY. NAPOCOR shall be responsible for the payment of (a) all taxes, import duties, fees, charges and other levies imposed by the National Government of the Republic of the Philippines or any agency or instrumentality thereof to which POLAR may be or become subject to or in relation to the performance of their obligations under this agreement (other than (i) taxes imposed or calculated on the basis of the net income of POLAR and Personal Income Taxes of its employees and (ii) construction permit fees, environmental permit fees and other similar fees and charges) and (b) all real estate taxes and assessments, rates and other charges in respect of the Power Barges.6 Subsequently, Polar Energy, Inc. assigned its rights under the Agreement to FELS. The NPC initially opposed the assignment of rights, citing paragraph 17.2 of Article 17 of the Agreement. On August 7, 1995, FELS received an assessment of real property taxes on the power barges from Provincial Assessor Lauro C. Andaya of Batangas City. The assessed tax, which likewise covered those due for 1994, amounted to P56,184,088.40 per annum. FELS referred the matter to NPC, reminding it of its obligation under the Agreement to pay all real estate taxes. It then gave NPC the full power and authority to represent it in any conference regarding the real property assessment of the Provincial Assessor.

In a letter7 dated September 7, 1995, NPC sought reconsideration of the Provincial Assessors decision to assess real property taxes on the power barges. However, the motion was denied on September 22, 1995, and the Provincial Assessor advised NPC to pay the assessment.8 This prompted NPC to file a petition with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals (LBAA) for the setting aside of the assessment and the declaration of the barges as non-taxable items; it also prayed that should LBAA find the barges to be taxable, the Provincial Assessor be directed to make the necessary corrections.9 In its Answer to the petition, the Provincial Assessor averred that the barges were real property for purposes of taxation under Section 199(c) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7160. Before the case was decided by the LBAA, NPC filed a Manifestation, informing the LBAA that the Department of Finance (DOF) had rendered an opinion10 dated May 20, 1996, where it is clearly stated that power barges are not real property subject to real property assessment. On August 26, 1996, the LBAA rendered a Resolution11 denying the petition. Aggrieved, FELS appealed the LBAAs ruling to the Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA). On April 6, 2000, the CBAA rendered a Decision17 finding the power barges exempt from real property tax. The Provincial Assessor filed a motion for reconsideration, which was opposed by FELS and NPC. In a complete volte face, the CBAA issued a Resolution20 on July 31, 2001 reversing its earlier decision Dissatisfied, FELS filed a petition for review before the CA Twelfth Division of the appellate court rendered judgment in CA-G.R. SP No. 67490 denying the petition on the ground of prescription. On August 3, 2005, FELS filed the petition docketed as G.R. No. 168557 before this Court. Issues: II THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE POWER BARGES ARE NOT SUBJECT TO REAL PROPERTY TAXES. Ruling: Petitioners maintain nevertheless that the power barges are exempt from real estate tax under Section 234 (c) of R.A. No. 7160 because they are actually, directly and exclusively used by petitioner NPC, a government- owned and controlled corporation engaged in the supply, generation, and transmission of electric power. We affirm the findings of the LBAA and CBAA that the owner of the taxable properties is petitioner FELS, which in fine, is the entity being taxed by the local government. As stipulated under Section 2.11, Article 2 of the Agreement:

OWNERSHIP OF POWER BARGES. POLAR shall own the Power Barges and all the fixtures, fittings, machinery and equipment on the Site used in connection with the Power Barges which have been supplied by it at its own cost. POLAR shall operate, manage and maintain the Power Barges for the purpose of converting Fuel of NAPOCOR into electricity.52 OPERATION. POLAR undertakes that until the end of the Lease Period, subject to the supply of the necessary Fuel pursuant to Article 6 and to the other provisions hereof, it will operate the Power Barges to convert such Fuel into electricity in accordance with Part A of Article 7.53 It is a basic rule that obligations arising from a contract have the force of law between the parties. Not being contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy, the parties to the contract are bound by its terms and conditions.54 Time and again, the Supreme Court has stated that taxation is the rule and exemption is the exception.55 The law does not look with favor on tax exemptions and the entity that would seek to be thus privileged must justify it by words too plain to be mistaken and too categorical to be misinterpreted.56 Thus, applying the rule of strict construction of laws granting tax exemptions, and the rule that doubts should be resolved in favor of provincial corporations, we hold that FELS is considered a taxable entity. The mere undertaking of petitioner NPC under Section 10.1 of the Agreement, that it shall be responsible for the payment of all real estate taxes and assessments, does not justify the exemption. The privilege granted to petitioner NPC cannot be extended to FELS. The covenant is between FELS and NPC and does not bind a third person not privy thereto, in this case, the Province of Batangas. It must be pointed out that the protracted and circuitous litigation has seriously resulted in the local governments deprivation of revenues. The power to tax is an incident of sovereignty and is unlimited in its magnitude, acknowledging in its very nature no perimeter so that security against its abuse is to be found only in the responsibility of the legislature which imposes the tax on the constituency who are to pay for it.57 The right of local government units to collect taxes due must always be upheld to avoid severe tax erosion. This consideration is consistent with the State policy to guarantee the autonomy of local governments58 and the objective of the Local Government Code that they enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to empower them to achieve their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them effective partners in the attainment of national goals.59 In conclusion, we reiterate that the power to tax is the most potent instrument to raise the needed revenues to finance and support myriad activities of the local government units for the delivery of basic services essential to the promotion of the general welfare and the enhancement of peace, progress, and prosperity of the people.60 WHEREFORE, the Petitions are DENIED and the assailed Decisions and Resolutions AFFIRMED.

Gerochi vs. DOE

Facts: RA 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which sought to impose a universal charge on all end-users of electricity for the purpose of funding NAPOCORs projects, was enacted and took effect in 2001. Petitioners contest the constitutionality of the EPIRA, stating that the imposition of the universal charge on all end-users is oppressive and confiscatory and amounts to taxation without representation for not giving the consumers a chance to be heard and be represented. Issue: Whether or not the universal charge is a tax. Held: NO. The assailed universal charge is not a tax, but an exaction in the exercise of the States police power. That public welfare is promoted may be gleaned from Sec. 2 of the EPIRA, which enumerates the policies of the State regarding electrification. Moreover, the Special Trust Fund feature of the universal charge reasonably serves and assures the attainment and perpetuity of the purposes for which the universal charge is imposed (e.g. to ensure the viability of the countrys electric power industry), further boosting the position that the same is an exaction primarily in pursuit of the States police objectives If generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is merely incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the primary purpose, the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does not make the imposition a tax.

The taxing power may be used as an implement of police power. The theory behind the exercise of the power to tax emanates from necessity; without taxes, government cannot fulfill its mandate of promoting the general welfare and well-being of the people.
Caltex Philippines vs. COA