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LORENZO vs. POSADAS J.

R Posadas overruled Lorenzo’s protest and


G.R. No. L-43082, June 18, 1937 refused to refund the said amount. Plaintiff
went to court. The CFI dismissed Lorenzo’s
FACTS: complaint and Posadas’ counterclaim.
Thomas Hanley died, leaving a will and a Both parties appealed to this court.
considerable amount of real and personal
properties. Proceedings for the probate of ISSUE:
his will and the settlement and - Has there been delinquency in the
distribution of his estate were begun in the payment of the inheritance tax? YES, the
CFI of Zamboanga. The will was admitted judgment of the lower court is accordingly
to probate. modified, with costs against the plaintiff in
both instances
The CFI considered it proper for the best
interests of the estate to appoint a trustee HELD:
to administer the real properties which, The defendant maintains that it was the
under the will, were to pass to nephew duty of the executor to pay the inheritance
Matthew ten years after the two executors tax before the delivery of the decedent’s
named in the will was appointed trustee. property to the trustee. Stated otherwise,
Moore acted as trustee until he resigned the defendant contends that delivery to
and the plaintiff Lorenzo herein was the trustee was delivery to the cestui que
appointed in his stead. trust, the beneficiary in this case, within
the meaning of the first paragraph of
During the incumbency of the plaintiff as subsection (b) of section 1544 of the
trustee, the defendant Collector of Internal Revised Administrative Code. This
Revenue (Posadas) assessed against the contention is well taken and is sustained. A
estate an inheritance tax, together with the trustee is but an instrument or agent for
penalties for deliquency in payment. the cestui que trust
Lorenzo paid said amount under protest, The appointment of Moore as trustee was
notifying Posadas at the same time that made by the trial court in conformity with
unless the amount was promptly refunded the wishes of the testator as expressed in
suit would be brought for its recovery. his will. It is true that the word “trust” is
not mentioned or used in the will but the the payment of inheritance tax and,
intention to create one is clear. No therefore, liable for the payment of
particular or technical words are required interest and surcharge provided by law in
to create a testamentary trust. The words such cases.
“trust” and “trustee”, though apt for the
purpose, are not necessary. In fact, the use The delinquency in payment occurred on
of these two words is not conclusive on the March 10, 1924, the date when Moore
question that a trust is created. ” To became trustee. On that date trust estate
constitute a valid testamentary vested in him. The interest due should be
trust there must be a concurrence of three computed from that date.
circumstances:
(1) Sufficient words to raise a trust; NOTES: Other issues:
(a) When does the inheritance tax accrue
(2) a definite subject; and when must it be satisfied?
The accrual of the inheritance tax is
(3) a certain or ascertain object; statutes in distinct from the obligation to pay the
some jurisdictions expressly or in effect so same.
providing.”
According to article 657 of the Civil Code,
There is no doubt that the testator “the rights to the succession of a person
intended to create a trust. He ordered in are transmitted from the moment of his
his will that certain of his properties be death.” “In other words”, said Arellano, C.
kept together undisposed during a fixed J., “. . . the heirs succeed immediately to all
period, for a stated purpose. The probate of the property of the deceased ancestor.
court certainly exercised sound judgment The property belongs to the heirs at the
in appointmening a trustee to carry into moment of the death of the ancestor as
effect the provisions of the will completely as if the ancestor had executed
and delivered to them a deed for the same
As the existence of the trust was already before his death.”
proven, it results that the estate which
plaintiff represents has been delinquent in
Whatever may be the time when actual beneficiary, in accordance with the desire
transmission of the inheritance takes of the predecessor. xx
place, succession takes place in any event
at the moment of the decedent’s death. The SEC. 1544. When tax to be paid. — The tax
time when the heirs legally succeed to the fixed in this article shall be paid:
inheritance may differ from the time when (a) In the second and third cases of the
the heirs actually receive such inheritance. next preceding section, before entrance
” Thomas Hanley having died on May 27, into possession of the property.
1922, the inheritance tax accrued as of the (b) In other cases, within the six months
date. subsequent to the death of the
predecessor; but if judicial testamentary
From the fact, however, that Thomas or intestate proceedings shall be instituted
Hanley died on May 27, 1922, it does not prior to the expiration of said period, the
follow that the obligation to pay the tax payment shall be made by the executor or
arose as of the date. The time for the administrator before delivering to each
payment on inheritance tax is clearly fixed beneficiary his share.
by section 1544 of the Revised The instant case does[not] fall under
Administrative Code as amended by Act subsection (a), but under subsection (b), of
No. 3031, in relation to section 1543 of the section 1544 above-quoted, as there is
same Code. The two sections follow: here no fiduciary heirs, first heirs, legatee
or donee. Under the subsection, the tax
SEC. 1543. Exemption of certain should have been paid before the delivery
acquisitions and transmissions. — The of the properties in question to Moore as
following shall not be taxed: trustee.
(a) The merger of the usufruct in the
owner of the naked title. (b) Should the inheritance tax be
(b) The transmission or delivery of the computed on the basis of the value of the
inheritance or legacy by the fiduciary heir estate at the time of the testator’s death, or
or legatee to the trustees. on its value ten years later?
(c) The transmission from the first heir, If death is the generating source from
legatee, or donee in favor of another which the power of the estate to impose
inheritance taxes takes its being and if, clearly demands or expresses that it shall
upon the death of the decedent, succession have a retroactive effect, . . . .” Act No. 3606
takes place and the right of the estate to tax itself contains no provisions indicating
vests instantly, the tax should be measured legislative intent to give it retroactive
by the value of the estate as it stood at the effect. No such effect can be given the
time of the decedent’s death, regardless of statute by this court.
any subsequent contingency value of any
subsequent increase or decrease in value

(c) In determining the net value of the


estate subject to tax, is it proper to deduct
the compensation due to trustees?
A trustee, no doubt, is entitled to receive a
fair compensation for his services. But
from this it does not follow that the
compensation due him may lawfully be
deducted in arriving at the net value of the
estate subject to tax. There is no statute in
the Philippines which requires trustees’
commissions to be deducted in
determining the net value of the estate
subject to inheritance tax

(d) What law governs the case at bar?


Should the provisions of Act No. 3606
favorable to the tax-payer be given
retroactive effect?
A statute should be considered as
prospective in its operation, whether it
enacts, amends, or repeals an inheritance
tax, unless the language of the statute