High Court grants oil firm’s P6-M tax refund

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has ruled with finality in granting an administrative claim for tax refund of an oil company worth more than P6 million.

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In its November 10, 2015 en banc resolution that was released by the High Court just recently, the SC en banc paved the way for Chevron Philippines Inc.’s motion for reconsideration.

The majority ruling (7-6) was penned by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.

The SC said no new arguments were presented to warrant reversal of its ruling last September 1, 2015.

It directed Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares to refund excise taxes of P6,542,400.00 paid on the petroleum products sold to Clark Development Corp. (CDC) from August 2007 to December 2007, or to issue a tax credit certificate of that amount to Chevron.

Chevron sold and delivered petroleum products to CDC but did not pass on to the latter the excise taxes paid on importation of the petroleum products sold to CDC in taxable year 2007, prompting the oil firm to file an administrative claim for tax refund or issuance of tax credit certificate before the BIR until the case reached the SC.

In its original ruling, the SC said, “(I)n as much as its liability for the payment of the excise taxes accrued immediately upon importation and prior to the removal of the petroleum products from the Customs house, Chevron was bound to pay, and actually paid such taxes.”

“But the status of the petroleum products as exempt from the excise taxes would be confirmed only upon their sale to CDC in 2007 [or, for that matter, to any of the other entities or agencies listed in Section 135 of the NIRC],” it added.

NIRC is the National Internal Revenue Code.

The tribunal explained that Section 204 of the NIRC explicitly allowed Chevron as the statutory taxpayer to claim the refund or the credit of the excise taxes thereby paid.

JOMAR CANLAS

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