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CTA affirms denial of Holcim’s tax refund claim


THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has upheld a  ruling that declined Holcim Philippines, Inc.’s partial refund claim of three payments of P331,204.64 representing its local tax liabilities for the first three quarters of 2018.

In a decision dated Nov. 18, the CTA Special Second Division said the Manila trial court did not commit an error when it said Holcim failed to prove that it registered as a wholesaler of an essential commodity, in this case, cement.

“The only piece of evidence that may somehow substantiate petitioner’s status as a seller and/or manufacturer of an essential commodity would be its Amended articles of incorporation,” the tax court said in the ruling.

It noted that the article of incorporation document also authorizes the firm to deal in other building materials within the scope of commodities classified as essential under the local government code.

Holcim declared that its gross sales for 2017 amounted to P1.19 billion in connection with the renewal of its business permit.

“Since the company’s certification does not also itemize its gross sales pertails to the sale of cement, the court has no way to determine whether the preferential rate of local business tax may be applied to even a portion of the petitioner’s revenue,” Associate Justice Jean Marie A. Bacorro-Villena said in the ruling.

In 2018, Manila City’s business license division issued statements of account to the firm for its local business tax liabilities each worth P660,482.32 on Jan. 15, Mar. 27 and June 27.

The firm sought a partial refund worth 331,204.67 on each occasion as it argued these were illegally collected.

“Indubitably, from the nature of its business, petitioner (Holcim) is not exclusively engaged in the sale and/or manufacture of cement,” said the tax court. — John Victor D. Ordonez

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