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EXECUTIVE SECRETARYMINIMUM 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 real properties classified as 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. ordinary assets unconstitutional? CWT on income from sales of

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 v. ALGUE, INC. GR No. L-28896, February 17, 1988 158 SCRA 9 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. GUARANTY CO., INC. v. CIR GR No. L-22074, April 30, 1965 13 SCRA 775 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 FACTS: The Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF) was created under Sec. 8, PD 1956, as amended by EO 137 for the purpose of minimizing frequent price changes brought about by exchange rate adjustments. It will be used to reimburse the oil companies for cost increase and possible cost underrecovery incurred due to reduction of domestic prices. COA sent a letter to Caltex directing the latter to remit to the OPSF its collection. Caltex requested COA for an early release of its reimbursement certificates which the latter denied. COA disallowed recover of financing charges, inventory losses and sales to marcopper and atlas but allowed the recovery of product sale or those arising from export sales. Petitioners Contention:

Department of Finance issued Circular No. 4-88 allowing reimbursement. Denial of claim for reimbursement would be inequitable. NCC (compensation) and Sec. 21, Book V, Title I-B of the Revised Administrative Code (Retention of Money for Satisfaction of Indebtedness to Government) allows offsetting.

Amounts due do not arise as a result of taxation since PD 1956 did not create a source of taxation, it instead established a special fund. This lack of public purpose behind OPSF exactions distinguishes it from tax. Respondents Contention: Based on Francia v. IAC, theres no offsetting of taxes against the the claims that a taxpayer may have against the government, as taxes do not arise from contracts or depend upon the will of the taxpayer, but are imposed by law. ISSUE: WON Caltex is entitled to offsetting DECISION: NO. COA AFFIRMED HELD: It is settled that a taxpayer may not offset taxes due from the claims that he may have against the government. Taxes cannot be subject of compensation because the government and taxpayer are not mutually creditors and debtors of each other and a claim for taxes is not such a debt, demand, contract or judgment as is allowed to be set-off. Technically, the oil companies merely act as agents for the Government in the latters collection since the taxes are, in reality, passed unto the end-users the consuming public. Their primary obligation is to account for and remit the taxes collection to the administrator of the OPSF. There is not merit in Caltexs contention that the OPSF contributions are not for a public purpose because they go to a special fund of the government. Taxation is no longer envisioned as a measure merely to raise revenue to support the existence of the government; taxes may be levied with a regulatory purpose to provide means for the rehabilitation and stabilization of a threatened industry which is affected with public interest as to be within the police power of the State. The oil industry is greatly imbued with public interest as it vitally affects the general welfare. PD 1956, as amended by EO No. 137 explicitly provides that the source of OPSF is taxation.

PLANTERS PRODUCTS, INC., vs. FERTIPHIL CORPORATION. [G.R. No. 166006. March 14, 2008.]

Facts: President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers, issued LOI No. 1465 which provided, among others, for the imposition by the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority (FPA) of a capital recovery component (CRC) on the domestic sale of all grades of fertilizers in the Philippines. The goal is to make and keep respondent PPI viable. After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10 levy. With the return of democracy, Fertiphil demanded from PPI a refund of the amounts it paid under LOI No. 1465, but PPI refused to accede to the demand Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection and damages against FPA and PPI with the RTC in Makati. It questioned the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 for being unjust, unreasonable, oppressive, invalid and an unlawful imposition that amounted to a denial of due process of law. FPA, through the Solicitor General, countered that the issuance of LOI No. 1465 was a valid exercise of the police power of the State in ensuring the stability of the fertilizer industry in the country Issue/Held: Whether the levy is in exercise of police power or taxation power- TAXATION Ratio: We agree with the RTC that the imposition of the levy was an exercise by the State of its taxation power. While it is true that the power of taxation can be used as an implement of police power, the primary purpose of the levy is revenue generation. If the purpose is primarily revenue, or if revenue is, at least, one of the real and substantial purposes, then the exaction is properly called a tax. An inherent limitation on the power of taxation is public purpose. Taxes are exacted only for a public purpose. They cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive benefit of private persons. The purpose of a law is evident from its text or inferable from other secondary sources. Here, we agree with the RTC and that CA that the levy imposed under LOI No. 1465 was not for a public purpose because it expressly provided that the levy be imposed to benefit PPI, a private company. The purpose is explicit from Clause 3 of the law PHILEX MINING CORP VS CIR 1998 Facts: From July 1, 1980 to December 31, 1981, Philex Mining Corp. purchased from several oil companies, refined and manufactured minerals, motor fuels, and diesel fuel oils. Specific taxes of P2,492,677.22 were paid. On October 22, 1982, the company availed of the provisions of RA 1435 granting refund of 25% of the tax paid and provided proof of the use of the oils, as required. Pending such claim for refund (P623,169.30 representing the 25%) with the CIR, the

company filed another claim for refund with the same amount plus 20% interest thereon with the CTA on November 16, 1982. The CTA granted the refund but only P16,747.36 which was based on the amount deemed paid under Sections 1 & 2 of RA 1435. Philex contends the refund should be based on the actual specific taxes paid as per the increased rates provided in Sections 142 and 145 (which became Sections 153 and 156) of the NIRC. Held: CTA is incorrect. In 1977, PD 1158 codified all existing laws. Sections 142 and 145 of the Tax Code, as amended by Sections 1 and 2 of RA 1435 were re-numbered to Sections 153 and 156. Later, these sections were amended by PD 1672 and subsequently by EO 672 increasing the tax rates for certain oil and fuel products. In effect, the reason for the refund ceased to exist. (The purpose of the tax was for Highway Special Fund which was abolished in 1985). SC affirmed therefore the decision of the CA & CTA that the basis of tax refund under RA 1435 is computed on the basis of the specific tax deemed paid under Sections 1 & 2 and not the increased rates actually paid under the 1977 NIRC, citing several cases in support thereof. Further, although Philex paid the taxes on their oil and fuel purchases based on the increased rates, the latter law did not specifically provide for a refund based on the increased rates. Since the grant of refund privileges must be strictly construed against the taxpayer, the basis for the refund remains to be the amounts deemed paid under Sections 1 and 2 of RA 1435. Also, there is no merit to petitioners assertion that equity and justice demands that the computation for tax refunds be based on actual amounts paid under Sections 153 and 156 of the NIRC, there being no tax exemption solely on the ground of equity. SC finally held: The rule is that no interest on refund of tax can be awarded unless authorized by law of the collection of the tax was attended by arbitrariness. An action is not arbitrary when exercised honestly and upon due consideration where there is room for two opinions, however much of it may be believed that an erroneous conclusion was reached. Arbitrariness presupposes inexcusable or obstinate disregard of legal provisions. None of the exceptions are presents in this case. Respondents decision was based on an honest interpretation of the law. We see no reason why there should be payment of interest. In Misamis Oriental Association of Coco Traders vs Department of Finance, the Supreme Court ruled a legislative rule is in the nature of subordinate legislation, designed to implement a primary legislation by providing details thereof. In the same way that laws must have the benefit of public hearing, it is generally required that before a legislative rule is adopted, there must be a hearing.

Meanwhile, in Misamis Oriental Association of Coco Traders, Inc. v. Department of Finance Secretary,[17] we said: xxx [A] legislative rule is in the nature of subordinate legislation, designed to implement a primary legislation by providing the details thereof. xxx In addition such rule must be published. On the other hand, interpretative rules are designed to provide guidelines to the law which the administrative agency is in charge of enforcing. Accordingly, in considering a legislative rule a court is free to make three inquiries: (i) whether the rule is within the delegated authority of the administrative agency; (ii) whether it is reasonable; and (iii) whether it was issued pursuant to proper procedure. But the court is not free to substitute its judgment as to the desirability or wisdom of the rule for the legislative body, by its delegation of administrative judgment, has committed those questions to administrative judgments and not to judicial judgments. In the case of an interpretative rule, the inquiry is not into the validity but into the correctness or propriety of the rule. As a matter of power a court, when confronted with an interpretative rule, is free to (i) give the force of law to the rule; (ii) go to the opposite extreme and substitute its judgment; or (iii) give some intermediate degree of authoritative weight to the interpretative rule. FRANCIA VS IA7 1998 Facts: On October 15, 1977, a 125 square meter portion of Francia's property was expropriated by the Republic of the Philippines for the sum of P4,116.00 representing the estimated amount equivalent to the assessed value of the aforesaid portion. Since 1963 up to 1977 inclusive, Francia failed to pay his real estate taxes. Thus, on December 5, 1977, his property was sold at public auction by the City Treasurer of Pasay City pursuant to Section 73 of Presidential Decree No. 464 known as the Real Property Tax Code in order to satisfy a tax delinquency of P2,400.00. Issue: May compensation take place? Ruling: There can be no off-setting of taxes against the claims that the taxpayer may have against the government. A person cannot refuse to pay a tax on the ground that the government owes him an amount equal to or greater than the tax being collected. The collection of a tax cannot await the results of a lawsuit against the government.

A claim for taxes is not such a debt, demand, contract or judgment as is allowed to be set-off under the statutes of set-off, which are construed uniformly, in the light of public policy, to exclude the remedy in an action or any indebtedness of the state or municipality to one who is liable to the state or municipality for taxes. Government and taxpayer are not mutually creditors and debtors of each other under Article 1278 of the Civil Code and a claim for taxes is not such a debt, demand, contract or judgment as is allowed to be set-off. REPUBLIC VS MAMBULAO FACTS: Mambulao Lumber Company paid the Government a total of P9,127.50 as reforestation charges. Having found liable for an aggregate amount of P4,802.37 for forest charges, it contended that since the Republic (Government) has not made use of the reforestation charges for reforesting the denuded area of the land covered by the companys license, the Republic should refund said amount or, if it cannot be refunded, at least the company should be compensated with what it owed the Republic for reforestation charges. ISSUE: Whether taxes may be subject of set-off or compensation. HELD: Internal revenue taxes, such as forest charges, cannot be the subject of set-off or compensation. A claim for taxes is not such a debt, demand, contract or judgment as is allowed to be set-off under the statutes of set-off, which are construed uniformly, in the light of public policy, to exclude the remedy in an action or any indebtedness of the State or municipality to one who is liable to the State or municipality for taxes. Neither are they subject of recoupment since they do not arise out of the contract or transaction sued on. Taxes are not in the nature of contracts between the parties but grow out of a duty to, and are the positive acts of the government, to the making and enforcing of which, the personal consent of individual taxpayers is not required. REAGAN VS CIR Reagan is a US citizen assigned at Clark Air Base to help provide technical assistance to the US Air Force. In April 1960 Reagan imported a 1960 Cadillac car valued at $6443.83. Two months later, he got permission to sell the same car provided that he would sell the car to a US citizen

or a member of the USAF. He sold it to Willie Johnson Jr for $6600.00 as shown by a Bill of Sale. The sale took place within Clark Air Base. As a result of this transaction, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue calculated the net taxable income of Reagan to be at P17912.34 and that his income tax would be P2797.00. Reagan paid the assessed tax but at the same time he sought for a refund because he claims that he is exempt. Reagan claims that the sale took place in foreign soil since Clark Air Base, in legal contemplation is a base outside the Philippines. Reagan also cited that under the Military Bases Agreement, he, by nature of his employment, is exempt from Philippine taxation. ISSUE: Is the sale considered done in a foreign soil not subject to Philippine income tax? HELD: The Philippines is independent and sovereign, its authority may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no portion thereof that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount. Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal. On the other hand, there is nothing in the Military Bases Agreement that lends support to Reagans assertion. The Base has not become foreign soil or territory. This countrys jurisdictional rights therein, certainly not excluding the power to tax, have been preserved, the Philippines merely consents that the US exercise jurisdiction in certain cases this is just a matter of comity, courtesy and expediency. It is likewise noted that he indeed is employed by the USAF and his income is derived from US source but the income derived from the sale is not of US source hence taxable.

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, petitioner vs. CENTRAL LUZON DRUG CORPORATION, respondent G.R. No. 148512, June 26, 2006, Azcuna, J. Just like the first case herein discussed, this case delves on the 20% discount granted to senior citizens. The respondent filed a claim for refund on the unutilized portion for the discount which it claimed as a tax credit. The CTA ruled that the tax credit benefit is only to the extent of respondents tax liability during the year, hence the claim for refund is not allowed. The CA modified that decision and ruled that the unutilized portion can be carried over to the next taxable period if there is no current tax liability. This ruling by the CA was affirmed by the SC. In bringing the case to the SC, the CIR maintains that the discount should only be allowed as a deduction from gross income and not a reduction from the tax liability. The law (R.A. No. 7432) provides that the discount is available as a tax credit. However, the implementing regulations (RR No. 2-94) treat it as a deduction from gross income following the customary treatment of a sales discount. On this apparent conflict between the law and its implementing rules, the SC said that when the law says that the cost of the discount may be claimed as a tax credit, it means that the amount when claimed shall be treated as

reduction from any tax liability. The law cannot be amended by a mere regulation. The administrative agencies issuing these regulations may not enlarge, alter or restrict the provisions of the law they administer. In fact, a regulation that operates to create a rule out of harmony with the statute is a mere nullity. (CIR vs. Vda. De Prieto, 109 Phil. 592) The SC also touched on the nature of the benefit granted to the establishment selling to senior citizens. It emphasized that the tax credit benefit granted to the establishment can be deemed as their just compensation for private property taken by the State for public use. The privilege enjoyed by the senior citizens does not come directly from the State, but rather from the private establishments concerned. To deprive the taxpayer of their right to apply the tax credit against future tax liability will be to deny them the just compensation for the property taken. WALTER LUTZ VS. ANTONIO ARANETA 1955 FACTS: This case was initiated in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental to test the legality of the taxes imposed by Commonwealth Act No. 567, otherwise known as the Sugar Adjustment Act. Promulgated in 1940, the due to the threat to our industry by the imminent imposition of export taxes upon sugar as provided in the Tydings-McDuffe Act, and the "eventual loss of its preferential position in the United States market"; wherefore, the national policy was expressed "to obtain a readjustment of the benefits derived from the sugar industry by the component elements thereof" and "to stabilize the sugar industry so as to prepare it for the eventuality of the loss of its preferential position in the United States market and the imposition of the export taxes." In section 2, Commonwealth Act 567 provides for an increase of the existing tax on the manufacture of sugar, on a graduated basis, on each picul of sugar manufactured; while section 3 levies on owners or persons in control of lands devoted to the cultivation of sugar cane and ceded to others for a consideration, on lease or otherwise a tax equivalent to the difference between the money value of the rental or consideration collected and the amount representing 12 per centum of the assessed value of such land. Plaintiff, Walter Lutz, in his capacity as Judicial Administrator of the Intestate Estate of Antonio Jayme Ledesma, seeks to recover from the Collector of Internal Revenue the sum of P14,666.40 paid by the estate as taxes, under section 3 of the Act, for the crop years 1948-1949 and 19491950; alleging that such tax is unconstitutional and void, being levied for the aid and support of the sugar industry exclusively, which in plaintiff's opinion is not a public purpose for which a tax may be constitutionally levied. The action having been dismissed by the Court of First Instance, the plaintiffs appealed the case directly to this Court (Judiciary Act, section 17).

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA No. 567 or Sugar Adjustment Act is constitutional and for public purpose. HELD: The basic defect in the plaintiff's position is his assumption that the tax provided for in Commonwealth Act No. 567 is a pure exercise of the taxing power. Analysis of the Act, and particularly of section 6, will show that the tax is levied with a regulatory purpose, to provide means for the rehabilitation and stabilization of the threatened sugar industry. In other words, the act is primarily an exercise of the police power. This Court can take judicial notice of the fact that sugar production is one of the great industries of our nation, sugar occupying a leading position among its export products; that it gives employment to thousands of laborers in fields and factories; that it is a great source of the state's wealth, is one of the important sources of foreign exchange needed by our government, and is thus pivotal in the plans of a regime committed to a policy of currency stability. Its promotion, protection and advancement, therefore redounds greatly to the general welfare. Hence it was competent for the legislature to find that the general welfare demanded that the sugar industry should be stabilized in turn; and in the wide field of its police power, the lawmaking body could provide that the distribution of benefits therefrom be readjusted among its components to enable it to resist the added strain of the increase in taxes that it had to sustain. Once it is conceded, as it must, that the protection and promotion of the sugar industry is a matter of public concern, it follows that the Legislature may determine within reasonable bounds what is necessary for its protection and expedient for its promotion. Here, the legislative discretion must be allowed fully play, subject only to the test of reasonableness; and it is not contended that the means provided in section 6 of the law bear no relation to the objective pursued or are oppressive in character. If objective and methods are alike constitutionally valid, no reason is seen why the state may not levy taxes to raise funds for their prosecution and attainment. Taxation may be made the implement of the state's police power. Republic vs. Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co. 1999 Facts: RA 632 created the Philippine Sugar Institute, a semi-public corporation. In 1951, the Institute acquired the Insular Sugar Refinery for P3.07 million payable in installments from the proceeds of the sugar tax to be collected under RA 632. The operation of the refinery for 1954 to 1957 was disastrous as the Institute suffered tremendous losses. Contending that the purchase of the refinery with money from the Institutes fund was not authorized under RA 632, and that the

continued operation of the refinery is inimical to their interest, Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co., Maao Sugar Central, Talisay-Silay Milling Co. and the Central Azucarera del Danao refused to continue with their contribution to said fund. The trial court found them liable under RA 632. Issue: Whether the taxpayers may refuse to pay the special assessment, allegedly distinct from an ordinary tax which no one can refuse to pay. Held: The nature of a special assessment similar to the case has been discussed and explained in Lutz vs.Araneta. The special assessment or levy for the Philippine Sugar Institute (Philsugin) Fund is not so much an exercise of the power of taxation, nor the imposition of a special assessment, but the exercise of police power for the general welfare of the entire country. It is, therefore, an exercise of a sovereign power which no private citizen may lawfully resist. Section 2a of the Charter authorizing Philsugin to conduct research work for the sugar industry in all its phases, either agricultural or industrial, for the purpose of introducing into the sugar industry such practices or processes that will reduce the cost of production and achieve greater efficiency in the industry, justifies the acquisition of the refinery in question. The financial loss resulting from the operation thereof is no means an index that the industry did not profit therefrom, as other gains of a different nature(such as experience) may have been realized.

MATALIN COCONUT V. MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF MALABANG, LANAO DEL SUR 143 SCRA 404 FACTS: Municipal Council of Malabang, Lanao del Sur, invoking the authority of Section 2 of Republic Act No. 2264, otherwise known as the Local Autonomy Act, enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 45-46, entitled "AN ORDINANCE IMPOSING A POLICE INSPECTION FEE OF P.30 PER SACK OF CASSAVA STARCH PRODUCED AND SHIPPED OUT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF MALABANG AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF." The ordinance made it unlawful for any person, company or group of persons "to ship out of the Municipality of Malabang, cassava starch or flour without paying to the Municipal

Treasurer or his authorized representatives the corresponding fee fixed by (the) ordinance." It imposed a "police inspection fee" of P.30 per sack of cassava starch or flour, which shall be paid by the shipper before the same is transported or shipped outside the municipality. Any person or company or group of individuals violating the ordinance "is liable to a fine of not less than P100.00, but not more than P1,000.00, and to pay Pl.00 for every sack of flour being illegally shipped outside the municipality, or to suffer imprisonment of 20 days, or both, in the discretion of the court. This ordinance is now being questioned as unconstitutional. HELD: The amount collected under the ordinance in question partakes of the nature of a tax, although denominated as "police inspection fee" since its undeniable purpose is to raise revenue. However, we cannot agree with the trial court's finding that the tax imposed by the ordinance is a percentage tax on sales which is beyond the scope of the municipality's authority to levy under Section 2 of the Local Autonomy Act. Under the said provision, municipalities and municipal districts are prohibited from imposing" any percentage tax on sales or other taxes in any form based thereon. " The tax imposed under the ordinance in question is not a percentage tax on sales or any other form of tax based on sales. It is a fixed tax of P.30 per bag of cassava starch or flour "shipped out" of the municipality. It is not based on sales. However, the tax imposed under the ordinance can be stricken down on another ground. According to Section 2 of the abovementioned Act, the tax levied must be "for public purposes, just and uniform" (Emphasis supplied.) As correctly held by the trial court, the so-called "police inspection fee" levied by the ordinance is "unjust and unreasonable." Said the court a quo: ... It has been proven that the only service rendered by the Municipality of Malabang, by way of inspection, is for the policeman to verify from the driver of the trucks of the petitioner passing by at the police checkpoint the number of bags loaded per trip which are to be shipped out of the municipality based on the trip tickets for the purpose of computing the total amount of tax to be collect (sic) and for no other purpose. The pretention of respondents that the police, aside from counting the number of bags shipped out, is also inspecting the cassava flour starch contained in the bags to find out if the said cassava flour starch is fit for human consumption could not be given credence by the Court because, aside from the fact that said purpose is not so stated in the ordinance in question, the policemen of said municipality are not competent to determine if the cassava flour starch are fit for human consumption. The further pretention of respondents that the trucks of the petitioner hauling the bags of cassava flour starch from the mill to the bodega at the beach of Malabang are escorted by a policeman from the police

CHAVEZ VS. ONGPIN FACTS: This is a petition seeking to declare unconstitutional the following EO: EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 73 PROVIDING FOR THE COLLECTION OF REAL PROPERTY TAXES BASED ON THE 1984 REAL PROPERTY VALUES, AS PROVIDED FOR UNDER SECTION 21 OF THE REAL PROPERTY TAX CODE, AS AMENDED WHEREAS, the collection of real property taxes is still based on the 1978 revision of property values; WHEREAS, the latest general revision of real property assessments completed in 1984 has rendered the 1978 revised values obsolete; WHEREAS, the collection of real property taxes based on the 1984 real property values was deferred to take effect on January 1, 1988 instead of January 1, 1985, thus depriving the local government units of an additional source of revenue; WHEREAS, there is an urgent need for local governments to augment their financial resources to meet the rising cost of rendering effective services to the people; NOW, THEREFORE, I. CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, do hereby order: SECTION 1. Real property values as of December 31, 1984 as determined by the local assessors during the latest general revision of assessments shall take effect beginning January 1, 1987 for purposes of real property tax collection. SEC. 2. The Minister of Finance shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement this Executive Order. SEC. 3. Executive Order No. 1019, dated April 18, 1985, is hereby repealed. EC. 4. All laws, orders, issuances, and rules and regulations or parts

thereof inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. SEC. 5. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately. Petitioner averred that such accelerated the general revision of assessments with respect to tax, causing undue burden to people. HELD: Petitioner Chavez and intervenor ROAP question the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 73 insofar as the revision of the assessments and the effectivity thereof are concerned. It should be emphasized that Executive Order No. 73 merely directs, in Section 1 thereof, that: SECTION 1. Real property values as of December 31, 1984 as determined by the local assessors during the latest general revision of assessments shall take effect beginning January 1, 1987 for purposes of real property tax collection. (emphasis supplied) The general revision of assessments completed in 1984 is based onSection 21 of Presidential Decree No. 464 which provides, as follows: SEC. 21. General Revision of Assessments. Beginning with the assessor shall make a calendar year 1978, the provincial or city general revision of real property assessments in the province or city to take effect January 1, 1979, and once every five years thereafter: Provided; however, That if property values in a province or city, or in any municipality, have greatly changed since the last general revision, the provincial or city assesor may, with the approval of the Secretary of Finance or upon bis direction, undertake a general revision of assessments in the province or city, or in any municipality before the fifth year from the effectivity of the last general revision. Thus, We agree with the Office of the Solicitor General that the attack on Executive Order No. 73 has no legal basis as the general revision of assessments is a continuing process mandated by Section 21 of Presidential Decree No. 464. If at all, it is Presidential Decree No. 464 which should be challenged as constitutionally infirm. However, Chavez failed to raise any objection against said decree. Furthermore, Presidential Decree No. 464 furnishes the procedure by which a tax assessment may be questioned. TOLENTINO VS. SECRETARY OF FINANCE A case concerning the unconstitutionality of the Expanded VAT Law.

Alleged violations of the due process, equal protection and contract clauses and the rule on taxation. CREBA asserts that R.A. No. 7716 (1)impairs the obligations of contracts, (2) classifies transactions as covered or exempt without reasonable basis and (3) violates the rule that taxes should be uniform and equitable and that Congress shall "evolve a progressive system of taxation." HELD: Equality and uniformity of taxation means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class be taxed at the same rate. The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable and natural classifications for purposes of taxation. To satisfy this requirement it is enough that the statute or ordinance applies equally to all persons, forms and corporations placed in similar situation. (City of Baguio v. De Leon, supra; Sison, Jr. v. Ancheta, supra) Indeed, the VAT was already provided in E.O. No. 273 long before R.A. No. 7716 was enacted. R.A. No. 7716 merely expands the base of the tax. The validity of the original VAT Law was questioned in Kapatiran ng Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, Inc. v. Tan, 163 SCRA 383 (1988) on grounds similar to those made in these cases, namely, that the law was "oppressive, discriminatory, unjust and regressive in violation of Art. VI, 28(1) of the Constitution." (At 382) Rejecting the challenge to the law, this Court held: As the Court sees it, EO 273 satisfies all the requirements of a valid tax. It is uniform. . . . The sales tax adopted in EO 273 is applied similarly on all goods and services sold to the public, which are not exempt, at the constant rate of 0% or 10%. The disputed sales tax is also equitable. It is imposed only on sales of goods or services by persons engaged in business with an aggregate gross annual sales exceeding P200,000.00. Small corner sari-sari stores are consequently exempt from its application. Likewise exempt from the tax are sales of farm and marine products, so that the costs of basic food and other necessities, spared as they are from the incidence of the VAT, are expected to be relatively lower and within the reach of the general public. (The CREBA claims that the VAT is regressive. A similar claim is made by the Cooperative Union of the Philippines, Inc. (CUP), while petitioner Juan T. David argues that the law contravenes the mandate of Congress to provide for a progressive system of taxation because the law imposes a flat rate of 10% and thus places the tax burden on all taxpayers without regard to their ability to pay. The Constitution does not really prohibit the imposition of indirect taxes

which, like the VAT, are regressive. What it simply provides is that Congress shall "evolve a progressive system of taxation." The constitutional provision has been interpreted to mean simply that "direct taxes are . . . to be preferred [and] as much as possible, indirect taxes should be minimized." (E. FERNANDO, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES 221 (Second ed. (1977)). Indeed, the mandate to Congress is not to prescribe, but to evolve, a progressive tax system. Otherwise, sales taxes, which perhaps are the oldest form of indirect taxes, would have been prohibited with the proclamation of Art. VIII, 17(1) of the 1973 Constitution from which the present Art. VI, 28(1) was taken. Sales taxes are also regressive. Resort to indirect taxes should be minimized but not avoided entirely because it is difficult, if not impossible, to avoid them by imposing such taxes according to the taxpayers' ability to pay. In the case of the VAT, the law minimizes the regressive effects of this imposition by providing for zero rating of certain transactions (R.A. No. 7716, 3, amending 102 (b) of the NIRC), while granting exemptions to other transactions. (R.A. No. 7716, 4, amending 103 of the NIRC).

On the other hand, the transactions which are subject to the VAT are those which involve goods and services which are used or availed of mainly by higher income groups. These include real properties held primarily for sale to customers or for lease in the ordinary course of trade or business, the right or privilege to use patent, copyright, and other similar property or right, the right or privilege to use industrial, commercial or scientific equipment, motion picture films, tapes and discs,radio, television, satellite transmission and cable television time, hotels, restaurants and similar places, securities, lending investments, taxicabs, utility cars for rent, tourist buses, and other common carriers, services of franchise grantees of telephone and telegraph. The problem with CREBA's petition is that it presents broad claims of constitutional violations by tendering issues not at retail but at wholesale and in the abstract. There is no fully developed record which can impart to adjudication the impact of actuality. There is no factual foundation to show in the concrete the application of the law to actual contracts and exemplify its effect on property rights. For the fact is that petitioner's members have not even been assessed the VAT. Petitioner's case is not made concrete by a series of hypothetical questions asked which are no different from those dealt with in advisory opinions. The difficulty confronting petitioner is thus apparent. He alleges arbitrariness. A mere allegation, as here, does not suffice. There must be a factual foundation of such unconstitutional taint. Considering that petitioner here would condemn such a provision as void on its face, he has not made out a case. This is merely to adhere to the authoritative doctrine that where the due process and equal protection clauses are invoked, considering that they are

not fixed rules but rather broad standards, there is a need for proof of such persuasive character as would lead to such a conclusion. Absent such a showing, the presumption of validity must prevail. (Sison, Jr. v. Ancheta, 130 SCRA at 661)

Nor is hardship to taxpayers alone an adequate justification for adjudicating abstract issues. Otherwise, adjudication would be no different from the giving of advisory opinion that does not really settle legal issues.

CIR VS. FORTUNE TOBACCO 2008 Facts: Respondent FTC is a domestic corporation that manufactures cigarettes packed by machine under several brands. Prior to January 1, 1997, Section 142 of the 1977 Tax Code subjected said cigarette brands to ad valorem tax. Annex D of R.A. No. 4280 prescribed the cigarette brands tax classification rates based on their net retail price. On January 1, 1997, R.A. No. 8240 took effect. Sec. 145 thereof now subjects the cigarette brands to specific tax and also provides that: (1) the excise tax from any brand of cigarettes within the next three (3) years from the effectivity of R.A. No. 8240 shall not be lower than the tax, which is due from each brand on October 1, 1996; (2) the rates of excise tax oncigarettes enumerated therein shall be increased by 12% on January 1, 2000; and (3) the classification of each brand of cigarettes based on its average retail price as of October 1, 1996, as set forth in Annex D shall remain in force until revised by Congress. The Secretary of Finance issued RR No. 17-99 to implement the provision for the 12% excise tax increase. RR No. 17-99 added thequalification that the new specific tax rate xxx shall not be lower than the excise tax that is actually being paid prior to January 1, 2000. In effect, it provided that the 12% tax increase must be based on the excise tax actually being paid prior to January 1, 2000 and not on their actual net retail price. FTC filed 2 separate claims for refund or tax credit of its purportedly overpaid excise taxes for the month of January 2000 and for the period January 1-December 31, 2002. It assailed the validity of RR No. 17-99 in that it enlarges Section 145 by providing the aforesaidqualification. In this petition, petitioner CIR alleges that the literal interpretation given by the CTA and the CA of Section 145 would lead to a lower tax imposable on 1 January 2000 than that imposable during the transition period, which is contrary to the legislative intent to raise revenue.

Issue: Should the 12% tax increase be based on the net retail price of the cigarettes in the market as outlined in Section 145 of the 1997 Tax Code? Held: YES. Section 145 is clear and unequivocal. It states that during the transition period, i.e., within the next 3 years from the effectivity of the 1997 Tax Code, the excise tax from any brand of cigarettes shall not be lower than the tax due from each brand on 1 October 1996. This qualification, however, is conspicuously absent as regards the 12% increase which is to be applied on cigars and cigarettes packed by machine, among others, effective on 1 January 2000. Clearly, Section 145 mandates a new rate of excise tax for cigarettes packed by machine due to the 12% increase effective on 1 January 2000 without regard to whether the revenue collection starting from this period may turn out to be lower than that collected prior to this date. The qualification added by RR No. 17-99 imposes a tax which is the higher amount between the ad valorem tax being paid at the end of the 3-year transition period and the specific tax under Section 145, as increased by 12%a situation not supported by the plain wording of Section 145 of the 1997 Tax Code. Administrative issuances must not override, supplant or modify the law, but must remain consistent with the law they intend to carry out. Revenue generation is not the sole purpose of the passage of the 1997 Tax Code. The shift from the ad valorem system to the specific tax system in the Code is likewise meant to promote fair competition among the players in the industries concerned and to ensure an equitable distribution of the tax burden.

CIR VS BRITISH OVERSEAS AIRWAYS CORP Facts: British Overseas Airways Corp (BOAC) is a 100% British Government-owned corporation engaged in international airlinebusiness and is a member of the Interline Air Transport Association, and thus, it operates air transportation services and sells transportation tickets over the routes of the other airline members. From 1959 to 1972, BOAC had no landing rights for traffic purposes in the Philippines and thus, did not carry passengers and/or cargo to or from the Philippines but maintained a general sales agent in the Philippines - Warner Barnes & Co. Ltd. and later, Qantas Airways - which was

responsible for selling BOAC tickets covering passengers and cargoes. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue assessed deficiency income taxes against BOAC. Issue: Whether the revenue derived by BOAC from ticket sales in the Philippines, constitute income of BOAC from Philippine sources, and accordingly taxable. Held: The source of an income is the property, activity, or service that produced the income. For the source of income to be considered as coming from the Philippines, it is sufficient that the income is derived from activity within the Philippines. Herein, the sale of tickets in the Philippines is the activity that produced the income. The tickets exchanged hands here and payment for fares were also made here in the Philippine currency. The situs of the source of payments is the Philippines. The flow of wealth proceeded from, and occurred within Philippine territory, enjoying the protection accorded by the Philippine government. In consideration of such protection, the flow of wealth should share the burden of supporting the government. PD 68, in relation to PD 1355, ensures that international airlines are taxed on their income from Philippine sources. The 2 1/2% tax on gross billings is an income tax. If it had been intended as an excise tax or percentage tax, it would have been placed under Title V of the Tax Code covering taxes on business. Sison vs. Ancheta 1985 Facts: Batas Pambansa 135 was enacted. Sison, as taxpayer, alleged that its provision (Section 1) unduly discriminated against him by the imposition of higher rates upon his income as a professional, that it amounts to class legislation, and that it transgresses against the equal protection and due process clauses of theConstitution as well as the rule requiring uniformity in taxation. Issue: Whether BP 135 violates the due process and equal protection clauses, and the rule on uniformity in taxation. Held: There is a need for proof of such persuasive character as would lead to a conclusion that there was a violation of the due process and equal protection clauses. Absent such showing, the presumption of validity must prevail. Equality and uniformity in taxation means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class shall be taxed at the same rate. The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable and natural classifications for purposes of taxation. Where the differentitation conforms to the practical dictates of justice and equity, similar to

the standards of equal protection, it is not discriminatory within the meaning of the clause and is therefore uniform. Taxpayers may be classified into different categories, such as recipients of compensation income as against professionals. Recipients of compensation income are not entitled to make deductions for income tax purposes as there is no practically no overhead expense, while professionals and businessmen have no uniform costs or expenses necessaryh to produce their income. There is ample justification to adopt the gross system of income taxation to compensation income, while continuing the system of net income taxation as regards professional and business income. American Bible Society vs. City of Manila, [G.R. No. L-9637 April 30, 1957] Facts: Plaintiff-appellant is a foreign, non-stock, non-profit, religious, missionary corporation duly registered and doing business in the Philippines through its Philippine agency established in Manila in November, 1898. The defendant appellee is a municipal corporation with powers that are to be exercised in conformity with the provisions of Republic Act No. 409, known as the Revised Charter of the City ofManila. During the course of its ministry, plaintiff sold bibles and other religious materials at a very minimal profit. On May 29 1953, the acting City Treasurer of the City of Manila informed plaintiff that it was conducting the business of general merchandise since November, 1945, without providing itself with the necessary Mayor's permit and municipal license, in violation of Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, and Ordinances Nos. 2529, 3028 and 3364, and required plaintiff to secure, within three days, the corresponding permit and license fees, together with compromise covering the period from the 4th quarter of 1945 to the 2nd quarter of 1953, in the total sum of P5,821.45 (Annex A). Plaintiff now questions the imposition of such fees. Issue: Whether or not the said ordinances are constitutional and valid (contention: it restrains the free exercise and enjoyment of the religious profession and worship of appellant). Held: Section 1, subsection (7) of Article III of the Constitution, provides that: (7) No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free

exercise thereof, and the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religion test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. The provision aforequoted is a constitutional guaranty of the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, which carries with it the right to disseminate religious information. It may be true that in the case at bar the price asked for the bibles and other religious pamphlets was in some instances a little bit higher than the actual cost of the same but this cannot mean that appellant was engaged in the business or occupation of selling said "merchandise" for profit. For this reason. The Court believe that the provisions of City of Manila Ordinance No. 2529, as amended, cannot be applied to appellant, for in doing so it would impair its free exercise and enjoyment of its religious profession and worship as well as its rights of dissemination of religious beliefs. With respect to Ordinance No. 3000, as amended, the Court do not find that it imposes any charge upon the enjoyment of a right granted by the Constitution, nor tax the exercise of religious practices. It seems clear, therefore, that Ordinance No. 3000 cannot be considered unconstitutional, however inapplicable to said business, trade or occupation of the plaintiff. As to Ordinance No. 2529 of the City of Manila, as amended, is also not applicable, so defendant is powerless to license or tax the business of plaintiff Society. Reyes vs. Almanzor GR 49839-46, 26 April 1991 Facts: JBL, Edmundo and Milagros Reyes are owners of parcels of land in Manila which are leased and occupied as dwelling sites by tenants. In 1971, RA 6359 was passed prohibiting an increase of monthly rentals of dwelling units or of land on which another dwelling is located for one year after effectivity for rentals not exceeding P300 but allowing an increase of rent thereafter by not more than 10%. The Act also suspended the operation of Article 1673 of the Civil Code (ejectment of lessess). PD 20 amended RA 6359 by absolutely prohibiting the increase and

indefinitely suspending Article 1673. The Reyeses, thus, were precluded from raising the rentals and from ejecting the tenants. In 1973, the City Assessor of Manila reclassified and reassessed the value of the properties based on the schedule of market values duly reviewed by the Secretary of Finance. As it entailed an increase of the corresponding tax rates, the Reyeses filed a memorandum of disagreement with the Board of Tax Assessment Appeals and averring therein that the reassessments were excessive, unwarranted, unequitable, confiscatory and unconstitutional inasmuch as the taxes imposed exceeded the annual income derived from their properties; and that the income approach should have been used in determining land values instead of the comparative sales approach which the assessor adopted. Issue: Whether the reassessment is unequitable Held: Taxation is equitable when its burden falls on those better able to pay. Taxation is progressive when its rate goes up depending on the resources of the person affected. Taxes are uniform when all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class are taxed at the same rate. The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable and natural classification for purposes of taxation. Laws should operate equally and uniformly, however, on all persons under similar circumstances or that all persons must be treated in the same manner, the conditions not being different both in the privileges conferred and liabilities imposed. Finally, under the Real Property Tax Code (PD 464), property must be appraised at its current and fair market value. The market value of the properties covered by PD 20, thus cannot be equated with the market value of properties not so covered. The property covered by PD 20 has naturally a much lesser market value in view of the rental restrictions. Although taxes are the lifeblood of the government and should be collected without unnecessary hindrance, such collection should be made in accordance with law as any arbitrariness will negate the very reason for government itself. As the Reyeses are burdened by the Rent Freeze Laws (RA 6359 and PD 20), they should not be penalized by the same government by the imposition of excessive taxes they cannot afford and would eventually result in the forfeiture of their properties, under the principle of social justice. CIR VS. LINGAYEN GULF ELECTRIC 1988 Facts: Lingayen Gulf Electric Power operates an electric power plant serving the municipalities of Lingayen and Binmaley, Pangaisnan, pursuant to municipal franchise granted it by the respective municipal councils. The franchises provided that the grantee shall pay quarterly to the Provincial Treasury of Pangasinan 1% of the gross earnings obtained through the privilege for the first 20 years (from 1946), and 2% during the remaining 15 years of the life of the franchise. In 1948, the Philippine President approved the franchise (RA3843). In 1955, the BIR assessed and demanded against the company deficiency franchise taxes and surcharges

fro the years 1946 to 1954 applying the franchise tax rate of 5% on gross receipts from 1948 to 1954. The company asked for a reinvestigation, which was denied. Issue [1]: Whether the Court can inquire into the wisdom of the Act. Held [1]: The Court does not have the authority to inquire into the wisdom of the Act. Charters or special laws granted and enacted by the Legislatur are in the nature of private contracts. They do not contitute a part of the machinery of the general government. They are usually adopted after careful consideration of the private rights in relation with the resultant benefits of the State. In passing a special charter, the attention of the Legislature is directed to the facts and circumstances which the act or charter is intended to meet. The Legislature considers and makes provision for all the circumstance of the particular case. The Court ought not to disturb the ruling of the Court of Tax Appeals on the constitutionality of the law in question. Issue [2]: Whether a rate below 5% on gross income violate the uniformity of tax clause in the Constitution. Held [2]: A tax is uniform when it operates with the same force and effect in every place where the subject of it is found. Uniformity means that all property belonging to the same class shall be taxed alike. The legislature has the inherent power not only to select the subjects of taxation but to grant exemptions. Tax exemptions have never been deemed violateve of the equal protection clause. Herein, the 5% franchise tax rate provided in Section 259 of the Tax Code was never intended to have a universal application. Section 259 expressly allows the payment of taxes at rates lower than 5% when the charter granting the franchise precludes the imposition of a higher tax. RA 3843 did not only fix and specify a franchise tax of 2% on its gross receipts, but made it in lieu of any and all taxes, all laws to the contrary notwithstanding. The company, hence, is not liable for deficiency taxes.

PHILIPPINE PRESS INSTITUTE, INC.; EGP PUBLISHING CO., INC.; PUBLISHING CORPORATION; PHILIPPINE JOURNALISTS, INC.; JOSE L. PAVIA; and OFELIA L. DIMALANTA, petitioners, vs. HON. LIWAYWAY V. CHATO, in her capacity as Commissioner of Internal Revenue; HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR., in his capacity as Executive Secretary; and HON. ROBERTO B. DE OCAMPO, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance, respondents. FACTS: The value-added tax (VAT) is levied on the sale, barter or exchange of goods and properties as well as on the sale or exchange of services. It is equivalent to 10% of the gross selling price or gross value in money of goods or properties sold, bartered or exchanged or of the gross receipts from the sale or exchange of services. Republic Act No. 7716 seeks to widen the tax

base of the existing VAT system and enhance its administration by amending the National Internal Revenue Code. These are various suits for certiorari and prohibition, challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 7716 on various grounds . ISSUE: WETHER OR NOT: (1) the procedural requirements of the Constitution have been complied with by Congress in the enactment of the statute? YES (2) judicial inquiry ON the formal requirements for the enactment of statutes beyond those prescribed by the Constitution have been observed is precluded by the principle of separation of powers? NO (3) the law abridge freedom of speech, expression or the press, nor interfere with the free exercise of religion, nor deny to any of the parties the right to an education? NO (4) That, in view of the absence of a factual foundation of record, claims that the law is regressive, oppressive and confiscatory and that it violates vested rights protected under the Contract Clause are prematurely raised and do not justify the grant of prospective relief by writ of prohibition.

HELD: I. PROCEDURAL ISSUES The contention of petitioners is that in enacting Republic Act No. 7716, or the Expanded ValueAdded Tax Law, Congress violated the Constitution because, although H. No. 11197 had originated in the House of Representatives, it was not passed by the Senate but was simply consolidated with the Senate version (S. No. 1630) in the Conference Committee to produce the bill which the President signed into law. This argument will not bear analysis. To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which is required by the Constitution to "originate exclusively" in the House of Representatives. It is important to emphasize this, because a bill originating in the House may undergo such extensive changes in the Senate that the result may be a rewriting of the whole. The possibility of a third version by the conference committee will be discussed later. At this point, what is important to note is that, as a result of the Senate action, a distinct bill may be produced. To insist that a revenue statute and not only the bill which initiated the legislative process

culminating in the enactment of the law must substantially be the same as the House bill would be to deny the Senate's power not only to "concur with amendments" but also to "propose amendments." It would be to violate the coequality of legislative power of the two houses of Congress and in fact make the House superior to the Senate. II. SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES A. Claims of Press Freedom, Freedom of Thought and Religious Freedom The PPI questions the law insofar as it has withdrawn the exemption previously granted to the press under 103 (f) of the NIRC. Although the exemption was subsequently restored by administrative regulation with respect to the circulation income of newspapers, the PPI presses its claim because of the possibility that the exemption may still be removed by mere revocation of the regulation of the Secretary of Finance. On the other hand, the PBS goes so far as to question the Secretary's power to grant exemption for two reasons: (1) The Secretary of Finance has no power to grant tax exemption because this is vested in Congress and requires for its exercise the vote of a majority of all its members 26 and (2) the Secretary's duty is to execute the law. These cases come down to this: that unless justified, the differential treatment of the press creates risks of suppression of expression. In contrast, in the cases at bar, the statute applies to a wide range of goods and services. The argument that, by imposing the VAT only on print media whose gross sales exceeds P480,000 but not more than P750,000, the law discriminates 33 is without merit since it has not been shown that as a result the class subject to tax has been unreasonably narrowed. The fact is that this limitation does not apply to the press along but to all sales. Nor is impermissible motive shown by the fact that print media and broadcast media are treated differently. The press is taxed on its transactions involving printing and publication, which are different from the transactions of broadcast media. There is thus a reasonable basis for the classification. B. Claims of Regressivity, Denial of Due Process, Equal Protection, and Impairment of Contracts There is basis for passing upon claims that on its face the statute violates the guarantees of freedom of speech, press and religion. The possible "chilling effect" which it may have on the essential freedom of the mind and conscience and the need to assure that the channels of communication are open and operating importunately demand the exercise of this Court's power of review. There is, however, no justification for passing upon the claims that the law also violates the rule that taxation must be progressive and that it denies petitioners' right to due process and that equal protection of the laws. The reason for this different treatment has been cogently stated

by an eminent authority on constitutional law thus: "[W]hen freedom of the mind is imperiled by law, it is freedom that commands a momentum of respect; when property is imperiled it is the lawmakers' judgment that commands respect. This dual standard may not precisely reverse the presumption of constitutionality in civil liberties cases, but obviously it does set up a hierarchy of values within the due process clause." 41 Thus, the broad argument against the VAT is that it is regressive and that it violates the requirement that "The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable [and] Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation." Indeed, regressivity is not a negative standard for courts to enforce. What Congress is required by the Constitution to do is to "evolve a progressive system of taxation." This is a directive to Congress, just like the directive to it to give priority to the enactment of laws for the enhancement of human dignity and the reduction of social, economic and political inequalities (Art. XIII, 1), or for the promotion of the right to "quality education" (Art. XIV, 1). These provisions are put in the Constitution as moral incentives to legislation, not as judicially enforceable rights. In truth, the Contract Clause has never been thought as a limitation on the exercise of the State's power of taxation save only where a tax exemption has been granted for a valid consideration. 47 We are told, however, that the power of judicial review is not so much power as it is duty imposed on this Court by the Constitution and that we would be remiss in the performance of that duty if we decline to look behind the barriers set by the principle of separation of powers. Art. VIII, 1, 2 is cited in support of this view: Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.. It does not add anything, therefore, to invoke this "duty" to justify this Court's intervention in what is essentially a case that at best is not ripe for adjudication. That duty must still be performed in the context of a concrete case or controversy, as Art. VIII, 5(2) clearly defines our jurisdiction in terms of "cases," and nothing but "cases." That the other departments of the government may have committed a grave abuse of discretion is not an independent ground for exercising our power. Disregard of the essential limits imposed by the case and controversy requirement can in the long run only result in undermining our authority as a court of law. For, as judges, what we are called upon to render is judgment according to law, not according to what may appear to be the opinion of the day. WHEREFORE, the petitions in these cases are DISMISSED.

Lung Center of the Philippines vs. Quezon City [GR No. 144104 June 29, 2004] Facts: Lung Center of the Philippines is a non-stock and non-profit entity established by virtue of PD No. 1823. It is the registered owner of the land on which the Lung Center of the Philippines Hospital is erected. A big space in the ground floor of the hospital is being leased to private parties, for canteen and small store spaces, and to medical or professional practitioners who use the same as their private clinics. Also, a big portion on the right side of the hospital is being leased for commercial purposes to a private enterprise known as the Elliptical Orchids and Garden Center.

When the City Assessor of Quezon City assessed both its land and hospital building for real property taxes, the Lung Center of the Philippines filed a claim for exemption on its averment that it is a charitable institution with a minimum of 60% of its hospital beds exclusively used for charity patients and that the major thrust of its hospital operation is to serve charity patients. The claim for exemption was denied, prompting a petition for the reversal of the resolution of the City Assessor with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Quezon City, which denied the same. On appeal, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals of Quezon City affirmed the local boards decision, finding that Lung Center of the Philippines is not a charitable institution and that its properties were not actually, directly and exclusively used for charitable purposes. Hence, the present petition for review with averments that the Lung Center of the Philippines is a charitable institution under Section 28(3), Article VI of the Constitution, notwithstanding that it accepts paying patients and rents out portions of the hospital building to private individuals and enterprises. Issue: Is the Lung Center of the Philippines a charitable institution within the context of the Constitution, and therefore, exempt from realproperty tax? Held: The Lung Center of the Philippines is a charitable institution. To determine whether an enterprise is a charitable institution or not, the elements which should be considered include the statute creating the enterprise, its corporate purposes, its constitution and by-laws, the methods of administration, the nature of the actual work performed, that character of the services rendered, the indefiniteness of the beneficiaries and the use and occupation of the properties. However, under the Constitution, in order to be entitled to exemption from real property tax, there must be clear and unequivocal proof that (1) it is a charitable institution and (2)its real

properties are ACTUALLY, DIRECTLY and EXCLUSIVELY used for charitable purposes. While portions of the hospital are used for treatment of patients and the dispensation of medical services to them, whether paying or non-paying, other portions thereof are being leased to private individuals and enterprises. Exclusive is defined as possessed and enjoyed to the exclusion of others, debarred from participation or enjoyment. If real property is used for one or more commercial purposes, it is not exclusively used for the exempted purposes but is subject to taxation. JOHN HAY PEOPLES ALTERNATIVE COALITION VS. LIM 2003 FACTS: And R.A. No. 7227 expressly gave authority to the President to create through executive proclamation, subject to the concurrence of the local government units directly affected, other Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in the areas covered respectively by the Clark military reservation, the Wallace Air Station in San Fernando, La Union, and Camp John Hay.[5] On July 5, 1994 then President Ramos issued Proclamation No. 420,[16] the title of which was earlier indicated, which established a SEZ on a portion of Camp John The issuance of Proclamation No. 420 spawned the present petition [17] for prohibition, mandamus and declaratory relief which was filed on April 25, 1995 challenging, in the main, its constitutionality or validity . ISSUE: I. PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION NO. 420, SERIES OF 1990 (sic) IN SO FAR AS IT GRANTS TAX EXEMPTIONS IS INVALID AND ILLEGAL AS IT IS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL EXERCISE BY THE PRESIDENT OF A POWER GRANTED ONLY TO THE LEGISLATURE. RULING: The second issue refers to petitioners objection against the creation by Proclamation No. 420 of a regime of tax exemption within the John Hay SEZ. Petitioners argue that nowhere in R. A. No. 7227 is there a grant of tax exemption to SEZs yet to be established in base areas, unlike the grant under Section 12 thereof of tax exemption and investment incentives to the therein established Subic SEZ. The grant of tax exemption to the John Hay SEZ, petitioners conclude, thus contravenes Article VI, Section 28 (4) of the Constitution which provides that No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress. Section 3 of Proclamation No. 420, the challenged provision, reads: Sec. 3. Investment Climate in John Hay Special Economic Zone. Pursuant to Section 5(m) and Section 15 of Republic Act No. 7227, the John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation shall

implement all necessary policies, rules, and regulations governing the zone, including investment incentives, in consultation with pertinent government departments. Among others, the zone shall have all the applicable incentives of the Special Economic Zone under Section 12 of Republic Act No. 7227 and those applicable incentives granted in the Export Processing Zones, the Omnibus Investment Code of 1987, the Foreign Investment Act of 1991, and new investment laws that may hereinafter be enacted. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) It is clear that under Section 12 of R.A. No. 7227 it is only the Subic SEZ which was granted by Congress with tax exemption, investment incentives and the like. There is no express extension of the aforesaid benefits to other SEZs still to be created at the time via presidential proclamation. As gathered from the earlier-quoted Section 12 of R.A. No. 7227, the privileges given to Subic SEZ consist principally of exemption from tariff or customs duties, national and local taxes of business entities therein (paragraphs (b) and (c)), free market and trade of specified goods or properties (paragraph d), liberalized banking and finance (paragraph f), and relaxed immigration rules for foreign investors (paragraph g). Yet, apart from these, Proclamation No. 420 also makes available to the John Hay SEZ benefits existing in other laws such as the privilege of export processing zone-based businesses of importing capital equipment and raw materials free from taxes, duties and other restrictions;[39] tax and duty exemptions, tax holiday, tax credit, and other incentives under the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987;[40] and the applicability to the subject zone of rules governing foreign investments in the Philippines. [41] While the grant of economic incentives may be essential to the creation and success of SEZs, free trade zones and the like, the grant thereof to the John Hay SEZ cannot be sustained. The incentives under R.A. No. 7227 are exclusive only to the Subic SEZ, hence, the extension of the same to the John Hay SEZ finds no support therein. Neither does the same grant of privileges to the John Hay SEZ find support in the other laws specified under Section 3 of Proclamation No. 420, which laws were already extant before the issuance of the proclamation or the enactment of R.A. No. 7227. More importantly, the nature of most of the assailed privileges is one of tax exemption. It is the legislature, unless limited by a provision of the state constitution, that has full power to exempt any person or corporation or class of property from taxation, its power to exempt being as broad as its power to tax.[42] Other than Congress, the Constitution may itself provide for specific tax exemptions,[43] or local governments may pass ordinances on exemption only from local taxes.[44] The challenged grant of tax exemption would circumvent the Constitutions imposition that a law granting any tax exemption must have the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress.[45] In the same vein, the other kinds of privileges extended to the John Hay SEZ are by tradition and usage for Congress to legislate upon.

This Court then declares that the grant by Proclamation No. 420 of tax exemption and other privileges to the John Hay SEZ is void for being violative of the Constitution.


Don Andres Soriano (American), founder of A. Soriano Corp. (ASC) had a total shareholdings of 185,154 shares. Broken down, the shares comprise of 50,495 shares which were of original issue when the corporation was founded and 134,659 shares as stock dividend declarations. So in 1964 when Soriano died, half of the shares he held went to his wife as her conjugal share and the other half went to the estate. For sometime after his death, his estate still continued to receive stock dividends from ASC until it grew to at least 108,000 shares. In 1968, ASC through its Board issued a resolution for the redemption of shares from Sorianos estate purportedly for the planned Filipinization of ASC. Eventually, 108,000 shares were redeemed from the Soriano Estate. In 1973, a tax audit was conducted. Eventually, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) issued an assessment against ASC for deficiency withholding tax-at-source. The CIR explained that when the redemption was made, the estate profited, and so ASC would have withheld tax payments from the Soriano Estate yet it remitted no such withheld tax to the government. ASC averred that it is not duty bound to withhold tax from the estate because it redeemed the said shares for purposes of Filipinization of ASC and also to reduce its remittance abroad. ISSUE: Whether or not ASCs arguments are tenable. HELD: No. The reason behind the redemption is not material. The proceeds from a redemption is taxable and ASC is duty bound to withhold the tax at source. The Soriano Estate definitely profited from the redemption and such profit is taxable, and again, ASC had the duty to withhold the tax. There was a total of 108,000 shares redeemed from the estate. 25,247.5 of that was original issue from the capital of ASC. The rest (82,752.5) of the shares are deemed to have been from stock dividend shares. Sale of stock dividends is taxable. It is also to be noted that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Tax Code presumes that every distribution of corporate property, in whole or in part, is made out of corporate profits such as stock dividends. It cannot be argued that all the 108,000 shares were distributed from the capital of ASC and that the latter is merely redeeming them as such. The capital cannot be distributed in the form of redemption of stock dividends without violating the trust fund doctrine wherein the capital stock, property and other assets of the corporation are regarded as equity in trust for the payment of the corporate creditors. Once capital, it is always capital. That doctrine was intended for the protection of corporate creditors. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. SANDIGANBAYAN 2005

In July 1987, Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) Bienvenido Tan, Jr. issued an assessment against San Miguel Corporation (SMC) demanding payment of P342 million in taxes. SMC filed a request for reinvestigation. Tan granted the request and eventually he reduced the tax liability to P302 million. But in October 1987, without any word from SMC, Tan referred the case to the Legal Service Division of the BIR. Various BIR officials reviewed the case and they recommended that SMCs tax liability be reduced to P22 million (a significant reduction from the original P342 million). The reduction was justified by the BIR officials on the ground that the tax examiners had made some errors in computing SMCs tax liability. So SMC was demanded to pay P22 million but then SMC asked for a compromise of P10 million. Again, the matter was referred to various BIR officials who agreed and recommended to Tan that he should accept the compromise offer. Tan accepted the P10 million compromise offer. This resulted to a criminal case against Tan for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Allegedly, his act of accepting the P10 million compromise offer caused undue injury to the government and it gave SMC unwarranted benefits due to the significantly reduced tax liability. The Sandiganbayan originally convicted Tan but it reversed its own decision upon motion of Tan. ISSUE: Whether or not Tan should have been convicted of the crime charged. HELD: No. It was found by the Sandiganbayan that there was an improper computation in the tax liability of SMC. The error basically imposed tax on top of another tax which if allowed would be unfair to the taxpayer. It was therefore proper to have the tax be reduced from P302 million to P22 million. But is it proper for Tan to accept the P10 million compromise by SMC? Tan is well within his power to accept the P10 million compromise offer. This is actually abatement (not compromise as termed by SMC). Tan is actually prudent to accept the P10 million offer so as to avoid a protracted and costly litigation. Abatement is the diminution or decrease in the amount of tax imposed. It refers to the act of eliminating or nullifying; of lessening or moderating. To abate is to nullify or reduce in value or amount. The CIR has the power to abate or cancel the whole or any unpaid portion of a tax liability, inclusive of increments, if its assessment is excessive or erroneous, or if the administration costs involved do not justify the collection of the amount due. No mutual concessions need be made, because an excessive or erroneous tax is not compromised; it is abated or canceled. Only correct taxes should be paid. Further, Tan cannot be said to have acted in bad faith. He acted upon concurrence and recommendation of the various BIR officials.