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Tax court denies logistics firm’s P120.9-million refund claim

THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has affirmed its division ruling denying Nippon Express Philippines Corp.’s (NEPC) refund claim worth P120.9 million representing its excess input value-added tax traced to zero-rated sales for the four quarters of 2016.

In a 10-page ruling dated June 23 and made public on June 29, the CTA full court said the company had failed to prove that its foreign clients were doing business outside of the Philippines and that it had engaged in zero-rated sales for the period previously mentioned.

“Petitioner (NEPC) should be reminded that these are all factual findings of the court in division and in the absence of any evidence of grave abuse of discretion, this court shall not disturb the findings,” according to the ruling penned by CTA Associate Justice Catherine T. Manahan.

“In the instant petition, petitioner failed to cite and adduce any evidence that the court in division committed any grave abuse of discretion in the assailed decision and resolution.”

NEPC argued that the CTA had committed a reversible error by denying its claim for a refund since the company had presented the necessary documents to prove its entitlement.

The petitioner is the Philippine office of a Japanese logistics company that provides services such as truck transportation, truck freight forwarding, and coastal shipping.

The logistics firm added that the CTA Second Division made an error in disregarding the findings of the independent certified public accountant (ICPA).

On the other hand, the commissioner of internal revenue (CIR) reiterated that the company had failed to prove that it had engaged in zero-rated sales during the four quarters of 2016.

The accountant had recommended an P82.9-million tax refund based on sales invoices presented to the court.

None of the receipts and invoices presented were validated by the ICPA nor did they prove the company engaging in zero-rated sales, the tax court ruled.

Under the country’s revenue code, if a sale is subject to 0% value-added tax, the term “zero-rated sale” must be written or printed on the receipt.

“The court is not bound by the report and opinion of the ICPA considering that his findings are further subjected to the verification and validation by the court and verily such is supported by jurisprudence,” the tribunal added. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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