CTA declines to review software firm’s tax liabilities 

THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has affirmed its division’s ruling denying Advanced World Systems, Inc.’s appeal to review and set aside its tax liabilities worth P4.5 million for the period April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

In a ruling on May 30 and made public on June 2, the CTA full court agreed with the Third Division, as it said that the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to rule over the tax dispute due to the petition being filed beyond the 30-day period to file an administrative claim.

The tribunal added that it found “no cogent reason” to reverse the division ruling.

“Indubitably, when the petitioner’s (Advanced World Systems) judicial claim was filed before the Third Division of this Court on Feb. 12, 2018, or more than five years after the lapse of the 30-day mandatory and jurisdictional periods, i.e., July 16, 2012, and Aug. 15, 2012, respectively, the denial of petitioner’s claim for tax credit had long attained finality,” according to a copy of the ruling written by CTA Associate Justice Lanee S. Cui-David.

The CTA noted that since the judicial claim was filed out of time,  the Third Division could not validly exercise jurisdiction over the petition.

Under the country’s tax code, when the commissioner of internal revenue denies or fails to act on a claim for refund, the taxpayer is given a 30-day period from the receipt of an adverse decision or ruling to file a petition for review with the CTA.

The company argued that the 30-day period to file its administrative claim should be counted from its receipt of the commissioner’s denial letter on January 2018 and not the end of the 120-day period.

“The receipt of the Denial Letter after the lapse of the 120-day period is inconsequential,” the court said citing its prior ruling. “The VAT (value-added tax) refund/credit claim, by this time, is already deemed denied and had become final and unappealable after the lapse of 30 days.”

The petitioner is a software development company based in Makati City, that engages in buying, selling, and distributing computers and other peripherals.

The tribunal added that the company committed a procedural lapse in not specifying the issues for the court to consider in its petition for review.

“Instead of assisting the Court in arriving at a proper conclusion by presenting in the concise form its questions in controversy, the petition confounded it as no question of fact or law was put forth by the petitioner,” it said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez