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CASE DIGESTS

CIR v. Aichi Forging


Company of Asia Inc.
Oct. 6, 2010
Del Castillo, J.
Francis G. Francisco

SUMMARY: Aichi filed a claim for refund/credit of input


VAT for the period July 1, 2002 to September 30, 2002 on
September 30, 2004. CIR argues that such claim was filed
beyond the two-year period to claim a tax refund/credit
provided for under Sections 112(A) and 229 of the NIRC.
Since the year 2004 was a leap year, the period expired on
September 29, 2004. He cited as basis Article 13 of the
Civil Code, which provides that when the law speaks of a
year, it is equivalent to 365 days. SC held that the claim
was filed on time but still dismissed the case for being
premature.
DOCTRINE: Under the Administrative Code of 1987,
however, a year is composed of 12 calendar months.
Needless to state, under the Administrative Code of 1987,
the number of days is irrelevant. The SC hold that Section
31, Chapter VIII, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987,
being the more recent law, governs the computation of
legal periods. Lex posteriori derogat priori. Applying this to
the present case, the two-year period to file a claim for tax
refund/credit for the period July 1, 2002 to September 30,
2002 expired on September 30, 2004. Hence, Aichis
administrative claim was timely filed.
FACTS Aichi Forging Company of Asia, Inc. is engaged in the
manufacturing, producing, and processing of steel and its
by-products. It is registered with the BIR as a VAT entity and
its products are registered with the Board of Investments
(BOI) as a pioneer status.
On September 30, 2004, Aichi filed a claim for refund/credit
of input VAT for the period July 1, 2002 to September 30,
2002 in the total amount of P3,891,123.82 with the CIR

through the DOF One-Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and


Duty Drawback Center. On the same date, Aichi filed a
Petition for Review with the CTA for the refund/credit of the
same input VAT alleging that for the period July 1, 2002 to
September 30, 2002, it generated and recorded zero-rated
sales in the amount of P131,791,399.00, which was
paid; that for the said period, it incurred and paid input VAT
amounting
to P3,912,088.14
from
purchases
and
importation attributable to its zero-rated sales; and that in
its application for refund/credit filed with the DOF One-Stop
Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center, it
only claimed the amount of P3,891,123.82.
The 2nd Division of the CTA partially granted Aichis claim for
refund/credit. For a VAT registered entity whose sales are
zero-rated, to validly claim a refund, Section 112 (A) of the
NIRC of 1997 but in the reduced amount of P3,239,119.25.
CIR filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, insisting that
the administrative and the judicial claims were filed beyond
the two-year period to claim a tax refund/credit provided for
under Sections 112(A) and 229 of the NIRC. He reasoned
that since the year 2004 was a leap year, the filing of the
claim for tax refund/credit on September 30, 2004 was
beyond the two-year period, which expired on September
29, 2004. He cited as basis Article 13 of the Civil
Code, which provides that when the law speaks of a year, it
is equivalent to 365 days.
The CTA En Banc affirmed the Second Divisions Decision
allowing the partial tax refund/credit in favor of Aichi.
However, as to the reckoning point for counting the twoyear period, the CTA En Banc ruled that based on Section
114 of the 1997 NIRC, a taxpayer has 25 days from the close
of each taxable quarter within which to file a quarterly
return of the amount of his gross sales or receipts. In the
case at bar, the taxable quarter involved was for the period
of July 1, 2002 to September 30, 2002. Aichi has until
October 25, 2002 within which to file its quarterly return for

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CASE DIGESTS

its gross sales or receipts with which it complied when it


filed its VAT Quarterly Return on October 20, 2002.
In relation to this, the reckoning of the two-year period
provided under Section 229 of the 1997 NIRC should start
from the payment of tax subject claim for refund. As stated
above, Aichi filed its VAT Return for the taxable third quarter
of 2002 on October 20, 2002. Thus, Aichi's administrative
and judicial claims for refund filed on September 30, 2004
were filed on time because AICHI has until October 20, 2004
within which to file its claim for refund.
ISSUES: WON Aichis judicial and administrative claims for
tax refund/credit were filed within the two-year prescriptive
period provided in Sections 112(A) and 229 of the NIRC.
HELD: Yes, the claim was filed within the prescriptive
period. But the petition should still be granted since the
petition was prematurely filed.
RATIO: CIR v. Mirant Pagbilao Corporation already held that
Section 112(A) of the NIRC is the applicable provision in
determining the start of the two-year period for claiming a
refund/credit of unutilized input VAT, and that Sections
204(C) and 229 of the NIRC are inapplicable as "both
provisions apply only to instances of erroneous payment or
illegal collection of internal revenue taxes.
Section 112 (A) of the NIRC clearly provides in no uncertain
terms that unutilized input VAT payments not otherwise
used for any internal revenue tax due the taxpayer must be
claimed within two years reckoned from the close of the
taxable quarter when the relevant sales were made
pertaining to the input VAT regardless of whether said tax
was paid or not.
Thus, when a zero-rated VAT taxpayer pays its input VAT a
year after the pertinent transaction, said taxpayer only has

a year to file a claim for refund or tax credit of the unutilized


creditable input VAT. The reckoning frame would always be
the end of the quarter when the pertinent sales or
transaction was made, regardless when the input VAT was
paid.
In the Migrant Pagbilao case, MPC could not avail itself of
the provisions of either Sec. 204(C) or 229 of the NIRC
which, for the purpose of refund, prescribes a different
starting point for the two-year prescriptive limit for the filing
of a claim therefor. Secs. 204(C) and 229.
The said provisions also set a two-year prescriptive period,
reckoned from date of payment of the tax or penalty, for the
filing of a claim of refund or tax credit. Notably too, both
provisions apply only to instances of erroneous payment or
illegal collection of internal revenue taxes.
Under Sec. 105 of the NIRC, creditable input VAT is an
indirect tax which can be shifted or passed on to the buyer,
transferee, or lessee of the goods, properties, or services of
the taxpayer. The fact that the subsequent sale or
transaction involves a wholly-tax exempt client, resulting in
a zero-rated or effectively zero-rated transaction, does not,
standing alone, deprive the taxpayer of its right to a refund
for any unutilized creditable input VAT, albeit the erroneous,
illegal, or wrongful payment angle does not enter the
equation.
Section 112 of the NIRC is the pertinent provision for the
refund/credit of input VAT. Thus, the two-year period should
be reckoned from the close of the taxable quarter when the
sales were made.
Both Article 13 of the Civil Code and Section 31, Chapter
VIII, Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987 deal with the
same subject matter the computation of legal periods.
Under the Civil Code, a year is equivalent to 365 days
whether it be a regular year or a leap year. Under the

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CASE DIGESTS

Administrative Code of 1987, however, a year is composed


of 12 calendar months. Needless to state, under the
Administrative Code of 1987, the number of days is
irrelevant.
The SC hold that Section 31, Chapter VIII, Book I of the
Administrative Code of 1987, being the more recent law,
governs the computation of legal periods. Lex posteriori
derogat priori.
Applying this to the present case, the two-year period to file
a claim for tax refund/credit for the period July 1, 2002 to
September 30, 2002 expired on September 30, 2004.
Hence, Aichis administrative claim was timely filed.
However, notwithstanding the timely filing of the
administrative claim, SC is constrained to deny Aichis claim
for tax refund/credit for having been filed in violation of
Section 112(D) of the NIRC which provides that the CIR has
"120 days, from the date of the submission of the complete
documents in support of the application [for tax
refund/credit]," within which to grant or deny the claim. In
case of full or partial denial by the CIR, the taxpayers
recourse is to file an appeal before the CTA within 30 days
from receipt of the decision of the CIR. However, if after the
120-day period the CIR fails to act on the application for tax
refund/credit, the remedy of the taxpayer is to appeal the
inaction of the CIR to CTA within 30 days.
In this case, the administrative and the judicial claims were
simultaneously filed on September 30, 2004. Aichi did not
wait for the decision of the CIR or the lapse of the 120-day
period. For this reason, we find the filing of the judicial claim
with the CTA premature.
Aichis assertion that the non-observance of the 120-day
period is not fatal to the filing of a judicial claim as long as
both the administrative and the judicial claims are filed
within the two-year prescriptive period has no legal basis.

The phrase "within two (2) years x x x apply for the issuance
of a tax credit certificate or refund" in Sec. 112 refers to
applications for refund/credit filed with the CIR and not to
appeals made to the CTA. This is apparent in the first
paragraph of subsection (D) of the same provision, which
states that the CIR has "120 days from the submission of
complete documents in support of the application filed in
accordance with Subsections (A) and (B)" within which to
decide on the claim.
In fact, applying the two-year period to judicial claims would
render nugatory Section 112(D) of the NIRC, which already
provides for a specific period within which a taxpayer should
appeal the decision or inaction of the CIR. The second
paragraph of Section 112(D) of the NIRC envisions two
scenarios: (1) when a decision is issued by the CIR before
the lapse of the 120-day period; and (2) when no decision is
made after the 120-day period. In both instances, the
taxpayer has 30 days within which to file an appeal with the
CTA. As we see it then, the 120-day period is crucial in filing
an appeal with the CTA.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition is GRANTED. The CTA Second
Division is DIRECTED to dismiss CTA Case No. 7065 for
having been prematurely filed.