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CTA affirms Tullet Prebon’s partial tax refund


THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has affirmed its ruling that granted part of interdealer broker Tullet Prebon Philippines, Inc.’s refund claim in the amount of P5.31 million representing its excess credit withholding tax (CWT) for the fiscal year 2014.

In a 17-page decision made public on Feb. 21, the CTA full court said the refunded amount was reflected in the firm’s annual income tax return for that year. The firm initially sought a refund totaling P10.77 million.

“A meticulous examination of respondent’s (Tullet Prebon) evidence proves that the income payments relative to the CWT were indeed declared as part of respondent’s gross income in its annual income tax return for 2014,” Associate Justice Lanee S. Cui-David said in the ruling.

It said the firm submitted certificates of tax withheld at source for 2014, a credible testimony of a court-commissioned certified public accountant to prove its entitlement to the refund.

Tullet Prebon operates as an intermediary in the wholesale financial and energy sectors. It facilitates the trading activities of its clients, in particular commercial and investment banks.

The commissioner of internal revenue (CIR) claimed that the firm did not provide enough documents to merit a refund. The official added that Tullet Prebon failed to prove that it remitted the excess taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

The tax tribunal disagreed, saying the CIR did not specify the supposed missing documents and that proof of remittance is not a condition for a CWT refund.

Citing previous CTA jurisprudence, it said the certificates of creditable tax withheld at source are sufficient in supporting a taxpayer’s refund claim.

“Allegations must be proven by sufficient evidence because a mere allegation is not evidence,” it said. “The certificate of creditable tax withheld at source proves that taxes are withheld.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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