SC affirms decision blocking power firm’s tax refund-A A +A
Monday, October 21, 2013
VOTING 8-7, the Supreme Court denied with finality San Roque Power Corp.’s claim of P560 million worth of tax refund as a result of the purchase of capital equipment needed to generate electricity in 2001.
The power firm asked for a refund in 2003 with the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), a set up allegedly allowed at the time.
When the CTA ruled in favor of San Roque, the BIR protested the decision before the SC on the ground that the company failed to wait for 120 days from the filing of the request with the revenue agency to lapse before going to the tax court.
The SC sided with the BIR’s position, thus, junking San Roque’s motion for reconsideration to the court’s decision last February.
The decision became controversial last July when Associate Justice Arturo Brion asked his colleagues to cite former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban for contempt for discussing the merits of the case in his newspaper column.
In the article, Panganiban echoed the sentiment of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) for the government to be consistent in its policies so as not to undermine existing investments.
“I think JFC and MAP are not contesting the wisdom of the new decision; they are merely asking that it be applied prospectively to new refund applications, but not to San Roque and other similarly situated companies, which followed the old practice of simultaneous processing of refund applications sanctioned earlier by the BIR and the CTA,” the former Chief Justice said on June 9.
The SC has yet to announce its action on Brion’s sentiment. (Sunnex)