You are on page 1of 12

Republic of the Philippines There being no responsive action on the part of the Commissioner,

SUPREME COURT P&G-Phil., on 13 July 1977, filed a petition for review with public
Manila respondent Court of Tax Appeals ("CTA") docketed as CTA Case No.
2883. On 31 January 1984, the CTA rendered a decision ordering
EN BANC petitioner Commissioner to refund or grant the tax credit in the amount
of P4,832,989.00.
G.R. No. L-66838 December 2, 1991
On appeal by the Commissioner, the Court through its Second
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, petitioner, Division reversed the decision of the CTA and held that:
vs.
PROCTER & GAMBLE PHILIPPINE MANUFACTURING (a) P&G-USA, and not private respondent P&G-Phil., was the
CORPORATION and THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS,respondents. proper party to claim the refund or tax credit here involved;

T.A. Tejada & C.N. Lim for private respondent. (b) there is nothing in Section 902 or other provisions of the
US Tax Code that allows a credit against the US tax due from
P&G-USA of taxes deemed to have been paid in the
RESOLUTION
Philippines equivalent to twenty percent (20%) which
represents the difference between the regular tax of thirty-five
FELICIANO, J.: percent (35%) on corporations and the tax of fifteen percent
(15%) on dividends; and
For the taxable year 1974 ending on 30 June 1974, and the taxable
year 1975 ending 30 June 1975, private respondent Procter and (c) private respondent P&G-Phil. failed to meet certain
Gamble Philippine Manufacturing Corporation ("P&G-Phil.") declared conditions necessary in order that "the dividends received by
dividends payable to its parent company and sole stockholder, Procter its non-resident parent company in the US (P&G-USA) may
and Gamble Co., Inc. (USA) ("P&G-USA"), amounting to be subject to the preferential tax rate of 15% instead of 35%."
P24,164,946.30, from which dividends the amount of P8,457,731.21
representing the thirty-five percent (35%) withholding tax at source
was deducted. These holdings were questioned in P&G-Phil.'s Motion for Re-
consideration and we will deal with them seriatim in this Resolution
resolving that Motion.
On 5 January 1977, private respondent P&G-Phil. filed with petitioner
Commissioner of Internal Revenue a claim for refund or tax credit in
the amount of P4,832,989.26 claiming, among other things, that I
pursuant to Section 24 (b) (1) of the National Internal Revenue Code
("NITC"), 1 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 369, the 1. There are certain preliminary aspects of the question of the capacity
applicable rate of withholding tax on the dividends remitted was only of P&G-Phil. to bring the present claim for refund or tax credit, which
fifteen percent (15%) (and not thirty-five percent [35%]) of the need to be examined. This question was raised for the first time on
dividends. appeal, i.e., in the proceedings before this Court on the Petition for
Review filed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The question
was not raised by the Commissioner on the administrative level, and
neither was it raised by him before the CTA.
We believe that the Bureau of Internal Revenue ("BIR") should not be collected, or of any penalty claimed to have been collected
allowed to defeat an otherwise valid claim for refund by raising this without authority, or of any sum alleged to have been
question of alleged incapacity for the first time on appeal before this excessive or in any manner wrongfully collected, until a claim
Court. This is clearly a matter of procedure. Petitioner does not for refund or credit has been duly filed with the Commissioner
pretend that P&G-Phil., should it succeed in the claim for refund, is of Internal Revenue; but such suit or proceeding may be
likely to run away, as it were, with the refund instead of transmitting maintained, whether or not such tax, penalty, or sum has been
such refund or tax credit to its parent and sole stockholder. It is paid under protest or duress. In any case, no such suit or
commonplace that in the absence of explicit statutory provisions to the proceeding shall be begun after the expiration of two years
contrary, the government must follow the same rules of procedure from the date of payment of the tax or penalty regardless of
which bind private parties. It is, for instance, clear that the government any supervening cause that may arise after payment: . . .
is held to compliance with the provisions of Circular No. 1-88 of this (Emphasis supplied)
Court in exactly the same way that private litigants are held to such
compliance, save only in respect of the matter of filing fees from which Section 309 (3) of the NIRC, in turn, provides:
the Republic of the Philippines is exempt by the Rules of Court.
Sec. 309. Authority of Commissioner to Take Compromises
More importantly, there arises here a question of fairness should the and to Refund Taxes.—The Commissioner may:
BIR, unlike any other litigant, be allowed to raise for the first time on
appeal questions which had not been litigated either in the lower court
xxx xxx xxx
or on the administrative level. For, if petitioner had at the earliest
possible opportunity, i.e., at the administrative level, demanded that
P&G-Phil. produce an express authorization from its parent (3) credit or refund taxes erroneously or illegally received, . . . No credit
corporation to bring the claim for refund, then P&G-Phil. would have or refund of taxes or penalties shall be allowed unless the taxpayer
been able forthwith to secure and produce such authorization before files in writing with the Commissioner a claim for credit or refund within
filing the action in the instant case. The action here was commenced two (2) years after the payment of the tax or penalty. (As amended by
just before expiration of the two (2)-year prescriptive period. P.D. No. 69) (Emphasis supplied)

2. The question of the capacity of P&G-Phil. to bring the claim for Since the claim for refund was filed by P&G-Phil., the question which
refund has substantive dimensions as well which, as will be seen arises is: is P&G-Phil. a "taxpayer" under Section 309 (3) of the NIRC?
below, also ultimately relate to fairness. The term "taxpayer" is defined in our NIRC as referring to "any person
subject to taximposed by the Title [on Tax on Income]." 2 It thus
becomes important to note that under Section 53 (c) of the NIRC, the
Under Section 306 of the NIRC, a claim for refund or tax credit filed
withholding agent who is "required to deduct and withhold any tax" is
with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue is essential for made " personally liable for such tax" and indeed is indemnified
maintenance of a suit for recovery of taxes allegedly erroneously or
against any claims and demands which the stockholder might wish to
illegally assessed or collected: make in questioning the amount of payments effected by the
withholding agent in accordance with the provisions of the NIRC. The
Sec. 306. Recovery of tax erroneously or illegally collected. withholding agent, P&G-Phil., is directly and independently liable 3 for
— No suit or proceeding shall be maintained in any court for the correct amount of the tax that should be withheld from the dividend
the recovery of any national internal revenue tax hereafter remittances. The withholding agent is, moreover, subject to and liable
alleged to have been erroneously or illegally assessed or for deficiency assessments, surcharges and penalties should the
amount of the tax withheld be finally found to be less than the amount payment of the tax to the government, such authority may reasonably
that should have been withheld under law. be held to include the authority to file a claim for refund and to bring
an action for recovery of such claim. This implied authority is
A "person liable for tax" has been held to be a "person subject to tax" especially warranted where, is in the instant case, the withholding
and properly considered a "taxpayer." 4 The terms liable for tax" and agent is the wholly owned subsidiary of the parent-stockholder and
"subject to tax" both connote legal obligation or duty to pay a tax. It is therefore, at all times, under the effective control of such parent-
very difficult, indeed conceptually impossible, to consider a person stockholder. In the circumstances of this case, it seems particularly
who is statutorily made "liable for tax" as not "subject to tax." By any unreal to deny the implied authority of P&G-Phil. to claim a refund and
reasonable standard, such a person should be regarded as a party in to commence an action for such refund.
interest, or as a person having sufficient legal interest, to bring a suit
for refund of taxes he believes were illegally collected from him. We believe that, even now, there is nothing to preclude the BIR from
requiring P&G-Phil. to show some written or telexed confirmation by
In Philippine Guaranty Company, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal P&G-USA of the subsidiary's authority to claim the refund or tax credit
Revenue, 5 this Court pointed out that a withholding agent is in fact and to remit the proceeds of the refund., or to apply the tax credit to
the agent both of the government and of the taxpayer, and that the some Philippine tax obligation of, P&G-USA, before actual payment of
withholding agent is not an ordinary government agent: the refund or issuance of a tax credit certificate. What appears to be
vitiated by basic unfairness is petitioner's position that, although P&G-
The law sets no condition for the personal liability of the Phil. is directly and personally liable to the Government for the taxes
withholding agent to attach. The reason is to compel the and any deficiency assessments to be collected, the Government is
withholding agent to withhold the tax under all circumstances. not legally liable for a refund simply because it did not demand a
written confirmation of P&G-Phil.'s implied authority from the very
In effect, the responsibility for the collection of the tax as well
beginning. A sovereign government should act honorably and fairly at
as the payment thereof is concentrated upon the person over
all times, even vis-a-vis taxpayers.
whom the Government has jurisdiction. Thus, the withholding
agent is constituted the agent of both the Government and the
taxpayer. With respect to the collection and/or withholding of We believe and so hold that, under the circumstances of this case,
the tax, he is the Government's agent. In regard to the filing of P&G-Phil. is properly regarded as a "taxpayer" within the meaning of
the necessary income tax return and the payment of the tax Section 309, NIRC, and as impliedly authorized to file the claim for
to the Government, he is the agent of the taxpayer. The refund and the suit to recover such claim.
withholding agent, therefore, is no ordinary government agent
especially because under Section 53 (c) he is held personally II
liable for the tax he is duty bound to withhold; whereas the
Commissioner and his deputies are not made liable by law. 6 1. We turn to the principal substantive question before us: the
(Emphasis supplied) applicability to the dividend remittances by P&G-Phil. to P&G-USA of
the fifteen percent (15%) tax rate provided for in the following portion
of Section 24 (b) (1) of the NIRC:

If, as pointed out in Philippine Guaranty, the withholding agent is also (b) Tax on foreign corporations.—
an agent of the beneficial owner of the dividends with respect to the
filing of the necessary income tax return and with respect to actual
(1) Non-resident corporation. — A foreign corporation not equivalent to the twenty (20) percentage points waived by the
engaged in trade and business in the Philippines, . . ., shall Philippines.
pay a tax equal to 35% of the gross income receipt during its
taxable year from all sources within the Philippines, as . . . 2. The question arises: Did the US law comply with the above
dividends . . . Provided, still further, that on dividends received requirement? The relevant provisions of the US Intemal Revenue
from a domestic corporation liable to tax under this Chapter, Code ("Tax Code") are the following:
the tax shall be 15% of the dividends, which shall be collected
and paid as provided in Section 53 (d) of this Code, subject to Sec. 901 — Taxes of foreign countries and possessions of United
the condition that the country in which the non-resident foreign States.
corporation, is domiciled shall allow a credit against the tax
due from the non-resident foreign corporation, taxes deemed
to have been paid in the Philippines equivalent to 20% which
represents the difference between the regular tax (35%) on
corporations and the tax (15%) on dividends as provided in
this Section . . . (a) Allowance of credit. — If the taxpayer chooses to have the
benefits of this subpart, the tax imposed by this chapter
The ordinary thirty-five percent (35%) tax rate applicable to dividend shall, subject to the applicable limitation of section 904, be
remittances to non-resident corporate stockholders of a Philippine credited with the amounts provided in the applicable
corporation, goes down to fifteen percent (15%) if the country of paragraph of subsection (b) plus, in the case of a corporation,
domicile of the foreign stockholder corporation "shall allow" such the taxes deemed to have been paid under sections 902 and
foreign corporation a tax credit for "taxes deemed paid in the 960. Such choice for any taxable year may be made or
Philippines," applicable against the tax payable to the domiciliary changed at any time before the expiration of the period
country by the foreign stockholder corporation. In other words, in the prescribed for making a claim for credit or refund of the tax
instant case, the reduced fifteen percent (15%) dividend tax rate is imposed by this chapter for such taxable year. The credit shall
applicable if the USA "shall allow" to P&G-USA a tax credit for "taxes not be allowed against the tax imposed by section 531
deemed paid in the Philippines" applicable against the US taxes of (relating to the tax on accumulated earnings), against the
P&G-USA. The NIRC specifies that such tax credit for "taxes deemed additional tax imposed for the taxable year under section 1333
paid in the Philippines" must, as a minimum, reach an amount (relating to war loss recoveries) or under section 1351
equivalent to twenty (20) percentage points which represents the (relating to recoveries of foreign expropriation losses), or
difference between the regular thirty-five percent (35%) dividend tax against the personal holding company tax imposed by section
rate and the preferred fifteen percent (15%) dividend tax rate. 541.

It is important to note that Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, does not require (b) Amount allowed. — Subject to the applicable limitation of
that the US must give a "deemed paid" tax credit for the dividend tax section 904, the following amounts shall be allowed as the
(20 percentage points) waived by the Philippines in making applicable credit under subsection (a):
the preferred divided tax rate of fifteen percent (15%). In other words,
our NIRC does not require that the US tax law deem the parent- (a) Citizens and domestic corporations. — In the case
corporation to have paid the twenty (20) percentage points of dividend of a citizen of the United States and of a domestic
tax waived by the Philippines. The NIRC only requires that the US corporation, the amount of any income, war profits,
"shall allow" P&G-USA a "deemed paid" tax credit in an amount and excess profits taxes paid or accrued during the
taxable year to any foreign country or to any (A) for purposes of subsections (a) (1) and (b)
possession of the United States; and (1), the amount of its gains, profits, or income
computed without reduction by the amount of
xxx xxx xxx the income, war profits, and excess profits
taxes imposed on or with respect to such
Sec. 902. — Credit for corporate stockholders in profits or income by any foreign country. . . .;
foreign corporation. and

(A) Treatment of Taxes Paid by Foreign Corporation. (B) for purposes of subsections (a) (2) and (b)
(2), the amount of its gains, profits, or income
— For purposes of this subject, a domestic
in excess of the income, war profits, and
corporation which owns at least 10 percent of the
excess profits taxes imposed on or with
voting stock of a foreign corporation from which
itreceives dividends in any taxable year shall — respect to suchprofits or income.

The Secretary or his delegate shall have full power to


xxx xxx xxx
determine from the accumulated profits of what year
or years such dividends were paid, treating dividends
(2) to the extent such dividends are paid by such paid in the first 20 days of any year as having been
foreign corporation out of accumulated profits [as paid from the accumulated profits of the preceding
defined in subsection (c) (1) (b)] of a year for which year or years (unless to his satisfaction shows
such foreign corporation is a less developed country otherwise), and in other respects treating dividends
corporation, be deemed to have paid the same as having been paid from the most recently
proportion of any income, war profits, or excess accumulated gains, profits, or earning. . . . (Emphasis
profits taxes paid or deemed to be paid by such supplied)
foreign corporation to any foreign country or to any
possession of the United States on or with respect to
such accumulated profits, which the amount of such
dividends bears to the amount of such accumulated
profits. Close examination of the above quoted provisions of the US
Tax Code 7 shows the following:
xxx xxx xxx
a. US law (Section 901, Tax Code) grants P&G-
USA a tax credit for the amount of the dividend tax
(c) Applicable Rules
actually paid (i.e., withheld) from the dividend
remittances to P&G-USA;
(1) Accumulated profits defined. — For purposes of
this section, the term "accumulated profits" means
b. US law (Section 902, US Tax Code) grants to P&G-
with respect to any foreign corporation,
USA a "deemed paid' tax credit 8 for a proportionate
part of the corporate income tax actually paid to the
Philippines by P&G-Phil.
government under Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, and
which hence goes to P&G-USA;
The parent-corporation P&G-USA is "deemed to have paid" a
portion of the Philippine corporate income taxalthough that tax b. to determine the amount of the "deemed paid" tax
was actually paid by its Philippine subsidiary, P&G-Phil., not credit which US tax law must allow to P&G-USA; and
by P&G-USA. This "deemed paid" concept merely reflects
economic reality, since the Philippine corporate income tax c. to ascertain that the amount of the "deemed paid"
was in fact paid and deducted from revenues earned in the tax credit allowed by US law is at least equal to
Philippines, thus reducing the amount remittable as dividends the amount of the dividend tax waived by the
to P&G-USA. In other words, US tax law treats the Philippine Philippine Government.
corporate income tax as if it came out of the pocket, as it were,
of P&G-USA as a part of the economic cost of carrying on Amount (a), i.e., the amount of the dividend tax waived by the
business operations in the Philippines through the medium of Philippine government is arithmetically determined in the
P&G-Phil. and here earning profits. What is, under US
following manner:
law, deemed paid by P&G- USA are not "phantom taxes" but
instead Philippine corporate income taxes actually paid here
by P&G-Phil., which are very real indeed. P100.00 — Pretax net corporate income earned by
P&G-Phil.
x 35% — Regular Philippine corporate income tax
rate
———
It is also useful to note that both (i) the tax credit for the P35.00 — Paid to the BIR by P&G-Phil. as Philippine
Philippine dividend tax actually withheld, and (ii) the tax credit corporate income tax.
for the Philippine corporate income tax actually paid by P&G
Phil. but "deemed paid" by P&G-USA, are tax credits available P100.00
or applicable against the US corporate income tax of P&G-
-35.00
USA. These tax credits are allowed because of the US
———
congressional desire to avoid or reduce double taxation of the
P65.00 — Available for remittance as dividends to
same income stream. 9 P&G-USA

P65.00 — Dividends remittable to P&G-USA


x 35% — Regular Philippine dividend tax rate under
In order to determine whether US tax law complies with the Section 24
requirements for applicability of the reduced or preferential ——— (b) (1), NIRC
fifteen percent (15%) dividend tax rate under Section 24 (b) P22.75 — Regular dividend tax
(1), NIRC, it is necessary:
P65.00 — Dividends remittable to P&G-USA
a. to determine the amount of the 20 percentage x 15% — Reduced dividend tax rate under Section 24
points dividend tax waived by the Philippine (b) (1), NIRC
——— Dividends actually
P9.75 — Reduced dividend tax remitted by P&G-Phil.
to P&G-USA P55.25
P22.75 — Regular dividend tax under Section 24 (b) ——————— = ——— x P35.00 = P29.75 10
(1), NIRC Amount of accumulated P65.00 ======
-9.75 — Reduced dividend tax under Section 24 (b) profits earned by
(1), NIRC P&G-Phil. in excess
——— of income tax
P13.00 — Amount of dividend tax waived by
Philippine
===== government under Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC.
Thus, for every P55.25 of dividends actually remitted (after
Thus, amount (a) above is P13.00 for every P100.00 of pre- withholding at the rate of 15%) by P&G-Phil. to its US parent
tax net income earned by P&G-Phil. Amount (a) is also P&G-USA, a tax credit of P29.75 is allowed by Section 902
the minimum amount of the "deemed paid" tax credit that US US Tax Code for Philippine corporate income tax "deemed
tax law shall allow if P&G-USA is to qualify for the reduced or paid" by the parent but actually paid by the wholly-owned
preferential dividend tax rate under Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC. subsidiary.

Amount (b) above, i.e., the amount of the "deemed paid" tax Since P29.75 is much higher than P13.00 (the amount of
credit which US tax law allows under Section 902, Tax Code, dividend tax waived by the Philippine government), Section
may be computed arithmetically as follows: 902, US Tax Code, specifically and clearly complies with the
requirements of Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC.

3. It is important to note also that the foregoing reading of


Sections 901 and 902 of the US Tax Code is identical with the
P65.00 — Dividends remittable to P&G-USA reading of the BIR of Sections 901 and 902 of the US Tax
- 9.75 — Dividend tax withheld at the reduced (15%) Code is identical with the reading of the BIR of Sections 901
rate and 902 as shown by administrative rulings issued by the BIR.
———
P55.25 — Dividends actually remitted to P&G-USA The first Ruling was issued in 1976, i.e., BIR Ruling No.
76004, rendered by then Acting Commissioner of Intemal
P35.00 — Philippine corporate income tax paid by Revenue Efren I. Plana, later Associate Justice of this Court,
P&G-Phil. the relevant portion of which stated:
to the BIR
However, after a restudy of the decision in the
American Chicle Company case and the provisions of
Section 901 and 902 of the U.S. Internal Revenue
Code, we find merit in your contention that our
computation of the credit which the U.S. tax law
allows in such cases is erroneous as the amount of ofPresidential Decree No. 369 as 20% of P75,000.00
tax "deemed paid" to the Philippine government for the dividends to be remitted under the above
purposes of credit against the U.S. tax by the recipient example, amounts to P15,000.00 only.
of dividends includes a portion of the amount of
income tax paid by the corporation declaring the In the light of the foregoing, BIR Ruling No. 75-005
dividend in addition to the tax withheld from the dated September 10, 1975 is hereby amended in the
dividend remitted. In other words, the U.S. sense that the dividends to be remitted by your client
government will allow a credit to the U.S. corporation to its parent company shall be subject to the
or recipient of the dividend, in addition to the amount withholding tax at the rate of 15% only.
of tax actually withheld, a portion of the income tax
paid by the corporation declaring the dividend. Thus,
This ruling shall have force and effect only for as long
if a Philippine corporation wholly owned by a U.S.
as the present pertinent provisions of the U.S.
corporation has a net income of P100,000, it will pay
Federal Tax Code, which are the bases of the ruling,
P25,000 Philippine income tax thereon in accordance are not revoked, amended and modified, the effect of
with Section 24(a) of the Tax Code. The net income, which will reduce the percentage of tax deemed paid
after income tax, which is P75,000, will then be
and creditable against the U.S. tax on dividends
declared as dividend to the U.S. corporation at 15%
remitted by a foreign corporation to a U.S.
tax, or P11,250, will be withheld therefrom. Under the
corporation. (Emphasis supplied)
aforementioned sections of the U.S. Internal Revenue
Code, U.S. corporation receiving the dividend can
utilize as credit against its U.S. tax payable on said The 1976 Ruling was reiterated in, e.g., BIR Ruling dated 22
dividends the amount of P30,000 composed of: July 1981 addressed to Basic Foods Corporation and BIR
Ruling dated 20 October 1987 addressed to Castillo, Laman,
Tan and Associates. In other words, the 1976 Ruling of Hon.
(1) The tax "deemed paid" or indirectly paid
Efren I. Plana was reiterated by the BIR even as the case at
on the dividend arrived at as follows: bar was pending before the CTA and this Court.

P75,000 x P25,000 = P18,750


4. We should not overlook the fact that the concept of
———
"deemed paid" tax credit, which is embodied in Section 902,
100,000 ** US Tax Code, is exactly the same "deemed paid" tax credit
found in our NIRC and which Philippine tax law allows to
(2) The amount of 15% of Philippine corporations which have operations abroad (say, in
P75,000 withheld = 11,250 the United States) and which, therefore, pay income taxes to
——— the US government.
P30,000
Section 30 (c) (3) and (8), NIRC, provides:
The amount of P18,750 deemed paid and to be
credited against the U.S. tax on the dividends
(d) Sec. 30. Deductions from Gross Income.—In
received by the U.S. corporation from a Philippine
computing net income, there shall be allowed as
subsidiary is clearly more than 20% requirement
deductions — . . .
(c) Taxes. — . . . in no case exceed the same proportion of the tax
against which credit is taken which the amount of
xxx xxx xxx such dividends bears to the amount of the entire net
income of the domestic corporation in which such
dividends are included. The term"accumulated
(3) Credits against tax for taxes of foreign countries.
profits" when used in this subsection reference to a
— If the taxpayer signifies in his return his desire to
foreign corporation, means the amount of its gains,
have the benefits of this paragraphs, the tax imposed
profits, or income in excess of the income, war-
by this Title shall be credited with . . .
profits, and excess-profits taxes imposed upon or
with respect to such profits or income; and the
(a) Citizen and Domestic Corporation. — In the case Commissioner of Internal Revenue shall have full
of a citizen of the Philippines and of domestic power to determine from the accumulated profits of
corporation, the amount of net income, war profits or what year or years such dividends were paid; treating
excess profits, taxes paid or accrued during the dividends paid in the first sixty days of any year as
taxable year to any foreign country. (Emphasis having been paid from the accumulated profits of the
supplied) preceding year or years (unless to his satisfaction
shown otherwise), and in other respects treating
Under Section 30 (c) (3) (a), NIRC, above, the BIR must give dividends as having been paid from the most recently
a tax credit to a Philippine corporation for taxes actually paid accumulated gains, profits, or earnings. In the case of
by it to the US government—e.g., for taxes collected by the a foreign corporation, the income, war-profits, and
US government on dividend remittances to the Philippine excess-profits taxes of which are determined on the
corporation. This Section of the NIRC is the equivalent of basis of an accounting period of less than one year,
Section 901 of the US Tax Code. the word "year" as used in this subsection shall be
construed to mean such accounting period.
Section 30 (c) (8), NIRC, is practically identical with Section (Emphasis supplied)
902 of the US Tax Code, and provides as follows:
Under the above quoted Section 30 (c) (8), NIRC, the BIR
(8) Taxes of foreign subsidiary. — For the purposes must give a tax credit to a Philippine parent corporation for
of this subsection a domestic corporation which owns taxes "deemed paid" by it, that is, e.g., for taxes paid to the
a majority of the voting stock of a foreign US by the US subsidiary of a Philippine-parent corporation.
corporation from which it receives dividends in any The Philippine parent or corporate stockholder is "deemed"
taxable year shall be deemed to have paid the same under our NIRC to have paid a proportionate part of the US
proportion of any income, war-profits, or excess- corporate income tax paid by its US subsidiary, although such
profits taxes paid by such foreign corporation to any US tax was actually paid by the subsidiary and not by the
foreign country, upon or with respect to the Philippine parent.
accumulated profits of such foreign corporation from
which such dividends were paid, which the amount of
such dividends bears to the amount of such
accumulated profits: Provided, That the amount of tax
deemed to have been paid under this subsection shall
Clearly, the "deemed paid" tax credit which, under Section 24 (b) (1), create a tax exemption nor does it provide a tax credit; it is a provision
NIRC, must be allowed by US law to P&G-USA, is the same "deemed which specifies when a particular (reduced) tax rate is legally
paid" tax credit that Philippine law allows to a Philippine corporation applicable.
with a wholly- or majority-owned subsidiary in (for instance) the US.
The "deemed paid" tax credit allowed in Section 902, US Tax Code, is
no more a credit for "phantom taxes" than is the "deemed paid" tax
credit granted in Section 30 (c) (8), NIRC.
In the third place, the position originally taken by the Second Division
results in a severe practical problem of administrative circularity. The
III Second Division in effect held that the reduced dividend tax rate is not
applicable until the US tax credit for "deemed paid" taxes is actually
1. The Second Division of the Court, in holding that the applicable given in the required minimum amount by the US Internal Revenue
dividend tax rate in the instant case was the regular thirty-five percent Service to P&G-USA. But, the US "deemed paid" tax credit cannot be
(35%) rate rather than the reduced rate of fifteen percent (15%), held given by the US tax authorities unless dividends have actually been
that P&G-Phil. had failed to prove that its parent, P&G-USA, had in remitted to the US, which means that the Philippine dividend tax, at
fact been given by the US tax authorities a "deemed paid" tax credit in the rate here applicable, was actually imposed and collected. 11 It is
the amount required by Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC. this practical or operating circularity that is in fact avoided by our BIR
when it issues rulings that the tax laws of particular foreign jurisdictions
We believe, in the first place, that we must distinguish between the (e.g., Republic of Vanuatu 12Hongkong, 13 Denmark, 14 etc.) comply
legal question before this Court from questions of administrative with the requirements set out in Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, for
implementation arising after the legal question has been answered. applicability of the fifteen percent (15%) tax rate. Once such a ruling
The basic legal issue is of course, this: which is the applicable dividend is rendered, the Philippine subsidiary begins to withhold at the
tax rate in the instant case: the regular thirty-five percent (35%) rate reduced dividend tax rate.
or the reduced fifteen percent (15%) rate? The question of whether or
not P&G-USA is in fact given by the US tax authorities a "deemed A requirement relating to administrative implementation is not properly
paid" tax credit in the required amount, relates to the administrative imposed as a condition for the applicability, as a matter of law, of a
implementation of the applicable reduced tax rate. particular tax rate. Upon the other hand, upon the determination or
recognition of the applicability of the reduced tax rate, there is nothing
In the second place, Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, does not in fact require to prevent the BIR from issuing implementing regulations that would
that the "deemed paid" tax credit shall have actually been require P&G Phil., or any Philippine corporation similarly situated, to
granted before the applicable dividend tax rate goes down from thirty- certify to the BIR the amount of the "deemed paid" tax credit actually
five percent (35%) to fifteen percent (15%). As noted several times subsequently granted by the US tax authorities to P&G-USA or a US
earlier, Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, merely requires, in the case at bar, parent corporation for the taxable year involved. Since the US tax laws
that the USA "shall allow a credit against the can and do change, such implementing regulations could also provide
tax due from [P&G-USA for] taxes deemed to have been paid in the that failure of P&G-Phil. to submit such certification within a certain
Philippines . . ." There is neither statutory provision nor revenue period of time, would result in the imposition of a deficiency
regulation issued by the Secretary of Finance requiring the actual assessment for the twenty (20) percentage points differential. The task
grant of the "deemed paid" tax credit by the US Internal Revenue of this Court is to settle which tax rate is applicable, considering the
Service to P&G-USA before the preferential fifteen percent (15%) state of US law at a given time. We should leave details relating to
dividend rate becomes applicable. Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, does not administrative implementation where they properly belong — with the
BIR.
2. An interpretation of a tax statute that produces a revenue flow for additional tax credits which would be applicable against the tax
the government is not, for that reason alone, necessarily the correct payable to such home country. Accordingly, Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC,
reading of the statute. There are many tax statutes or provisions which requires the home or domiciliary country to give the investor
are designed, not to trigger off an instant surge of revenues, but rather corporation a "deemed paid" tax credit at least equal in amount to the
to achieve longer-term and broader-gauge fiscal and economic twenty (20) percentage points of dividend tax foregone by the
objectives. The task of our Court is to give effect to the legislative Philippines, in the assumption that a positive incentive effect would
design and objectives as they are written into the statute even if, as in thereby be felt by the investor.
the case at bar, some revenues have to be foregone in that process.
The net effect upon the foreign investor may be shown arithmetically
The economic objectives sought to be achieved by the Philippine in the following manner:
Government by reducing the thirty-five percent (35%) dividend rate to
fifteen percent (15%) are set out in the preambular clauses of P.D. No. P65.00 — Dividends remittable to P&G-USA (please
369 which amended Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, into its present form: see page 392 above
- 9.75 — Reduced R.P. dividend tax withheld by P&G-Phil.
WHEREAS, it is imperative to adopt measures responsive to ———
the requirements of a developing economyforemost of which P55.25 — Dividends actually remitted to P&G-USA
is the financing of economic development programs;
P55.25
WHEREAS, nonresident foreign corporations with x 46% — Maximum US corporate income tax rate
investments in the Philippines are taxed on their earnings ———
from dividends at the rate of 35%; P25.415—US corporate tax payable by P&G-USA
without tax credits
WHEREAS, in order to encourage more capital investment for
large projects an appropriate tax need be imposed on P25.415
dividends received by non-resident foreign corporations in the - 9.75 — US tax credit for RP dividend tax withheld by P&G-
same manner as the tax imposed on interest on foreign loans; Phil.
at 15% (Section 901, US Tax Code)
xxx xxx xxx ———
P15.66 — US corporate income tax payable after Section 901
——— tax credit.
(Emphasis supplied)

More simply put, Section 24 (b) (1), NIRC, seeks to promote the in- P55.25
flow of foreign equity investment in the Philippines by reducing the tax - 15.66
———
cost of earning profits here and thereby increasing the net dividends
P39.59 — Amount received by P&G-USA net of R.P. and U.S.
remittable to the investor. The foreign investor, however, would not
===== taxes without "deemed paid" tax credit.
benefit from the reduction of the Philippine dividend tax rate unless its
home country gives it some relief from double taxation (i.e., second-
tier taxation) (the home country would simply have more "post-R.P.
tax" income to subject to its own taxing power) by allowing the investor
P25.415 (b) When the recipient is a corporation, 20 percent of the gross
- 29.75 — "Deemed paid" tax credit under Section 902 US amount of the dividend if during the part of the paying
——— Tax Code (please see page 18 above) corporation's taxable year which precedes the date of
payment of the dividend and during the whole of its prior
- 0 - — US corporate income tax payable on dividends taxable year (if any), at least 10 percent of the outstanding
====== remitted by P&G-Phil. to P&G-USA after shares of the voting stock of the paying corporation was
Section 902 tax credit. owned by the recipient corporation.

P55.25 — Amount received by P&G-USA net of RP and US xxx xxx xxx


====== taxes after Section 902 tax credit.
(Emphasis supplied)
It will be seen that the "deemed paid" tax credit allowed by Section
902, US Tax Code, could offset the US corporate income tax payable The Tax Convention, at the same time, established a treaty obligation
on the dividends remitted by P&G-Phil. The result, in fine, could be on the part of the United States that it "shall allow" to a US parent
that P&G-USA would after US tax credits, still wind up with P55.25, corporation receiving dividends from its Philippine subsidiary "a [tax]
the full amount of the dividends remitted to P&G-USA net of Philippine credit for the appropriate amount of taxes paid or accrued to the
taxes. In the calculation of the Philippine Government, this should Philippines by the Philippine [subsidiary] —. 16 This is, of course,
encourage additional investment or re-investment in the Philippines by precisely the "deemed paid" tax credit provided for in Section 902, US
P&G-USA. Tax Code, discussed above. Clearly, there is here on the part of the
Philippines a deliberate undertaking to reduce the regular dividend tax
3. It remains only to note that under the Philippines-United States rate of twenty percent (20%) is a maximum rate, there is still a
Convention "With Respect to Taxes on Income," 15the Philippines, by differential or additional reduction of five (5) percentage points which
a treaty commitment, reduced the regular rate of dividend tax to a compliance of US law (Section 902) with the requirements of Section
maximum of twenty percent (20%) of the gross amount of dividends 24 (b) (1), NIRC, makes available in respect of dividends from a
paid to US parent corporations: Philippine subsidiary.

Art 11. — Dividends We conclude that private respondent P&G-Phil, is entitled to the tax
refund or tax credit which it seeks.
xxx xxx xxx
WHEREFORE, for all the foregoing, the Court Resolved to GRANT
private respondent's Motion for Reconsideration dated 11 May 1988,
(2) The rate of tax imposed by one of the Contracting States
on dividends derived from sources within that Contracting to SET ASIDE the Decision of the and Division of the Court
State by a resident of the other Contracting State shall not promulgated on 15 April 1988, and in lieu thereof, to REINSTATE and
AFFIRM the Decision of the Court of Tax Appeals in CTA Case No.
exceed —
2883 dated 31 January 1984 and to DENY the Petition for Review for
lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs.
(a) 25 percent of the gross amount of the dividend; or