High Court junks power firm’s claim for P560-M tax refund


THE Supreme Court (SC) has denied with finality the claim of San Roque Power Corp. for a P560-million tax refund in connection with its unused input value-added tax on the purchase of capital goods and services in 2001.

Voting 8-7, the court en banc rejected the motion for reconsideration filed by San Roque as it affirmed its ruling reversing the earlier verdict of the Court of Tax Appeals which granted its claim on an adjusted amount of P483,797,5499.

In the same decision, the High Court also denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) questioning its decision granting the petition for a tax refund from Taganito Mining Corp. worth P8,365,664.38.

The SC held that San Roque prematurely filed its claim with the CTA in April 2003 when its claim was still pending before the internal revenue agency.

In the ruling penned by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, the tribunal reiterated that “at the time San Roque filed its petition for review with the CTA, the 120+30 day mandatory periods were already in the law.”

The court said San Roque failed to comply with the 120-day waiting period, the time expressly given by law to the Commissioner to decide whether to grant or deny San Roque’s application for tax refund or credit.

Henry Schumacher, external affairs vice president for the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (center), earlier expressed alarm over the “retroactive” rulings of the SC and the BIR.

Schumacher said the San Roque case could turn off investors looking to do business in the Philippines.

“The High Court and the BIR were ganging up on foreign investors, making it difficult for them to receive fiscal incentives such as duty and tax-free imports for capital equipment of priority sectors,” he said.

He added that the long process of claiming tax refunds is also burdensome to investors since they have to go through the BIR only to be forced to go to the CTA and then to the SC.


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