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CTA affirms granting part of manpower firm’s refund claim


THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has upheld its partial refund of Services Resources, Inc.’s (SRI) excess creditable withholding taxes worth P16.12 million for the fiscal year 2016.

In a 23-page ruling made public on March 9, the CTA full court rejected the commissioner of internal revenue’s (CIR) appeal to void the refund saying the Second Division did not abuse its discretion in granting the said amount.

“What is clear, based on a reading of the decision, is that the court has, in fact, methodically considered each of the requisites of the judicial claim,” Associate Justice Maria Belen M. Ringpis-Liban said in the ruling.

SRI initially sought a refund of its CWT overpayment totaling P16.68 million for 2016.

The CIR argued that the manpower firm failed to prove that it overpaid the collected CWT during the period.

The CTA disagreed as it said SRI sufficiently reflected its overpayment in its annual income tax return for 2016 and certificates of taxes withheld at source.

“Other than stating a bare and unfounded contention, petitioner CIR failed to proffer convincing arguments and evidence that would persuade the court en banc to disturb the factual findings of the CTA Second Division,” it said.

Under the country’s revenue code, taxpaying entities must provide certificates of taxes withheld at source to support a claim of erroneous payment or overpayment.

Proof of actual remittance is not a condition to claim a refund of excess tax credits, the tribunal said citing Supreme Court jurisprudence.

It noted that an independent certified public accountant verified the documents and certificates submitted as valid and original copies.

“The Supreme Court ruled that ‘it is fundamental that the findings of fact by the CTA in Division are not to be disturbed without any showing of grave abuse of discretion considering that the members of the division are in the best position to analyze the documents presented by the parties,” the tribunal said citing High Court jurisprudence. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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