THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has affirmed its ruling that set aside Robinsons Land Corp.’s (RLC) tax liabilities worth P3.76 million including penalties and interests for the fiscal year 2009.
In a 38-page decision on Jan. 17 and made public on Jan. 20, the CTA full court denied the commissioner of internal revenue’s (CIR) appeal to overturn the ruling since it was filed late.
The country’s revenue code mandates that a motion for reconsideration must be filed within 15 days to dispute a court ruling.
“All told, the decision dated July 9, 2020 of the court’s first division had already attained finality because of the petitioner’s (CIR) belated filing of his motion for reconsideration,” according to the ruling penned by Associate Justice Lanee S. Cui-David.
“Under the doctrine of immutability of judgment, the said decision may no longer be modified even if it is meant to correct an erroneous conclusion of law and facts of the court in division,” the magistrate added.
Under the tax court’s rules, litigants must prove their compliance with the 15-day period mandated under the tax code before the tribunal can hear the appeal.
The CTA First Division had voided the CIR’s final letter of demand and final assessment notice because they did not show definite due dates for payment, which violated RLC’s right to due process.
Citing a Supreme Court ruling, it said that tax demand letters that fail to provide a specific due date of payment must be nullified.
The tribunal said the CIR did not comply with the tax code’s due process requirement when the official did not explain why RLC’s arguments to dispute the assessment were rejected.
Tax assessments that fail to afford a taxpayer due process must be voided, according to the country’s tax code.
“The right to be heard, which includes the right to present evidence, is meaningless if the Commissioner can simply ignore the evidence without reason,” it said.
“A party’s fundamental right to due process includes the right to be informed of the various issues involved in a proceeding and the reasons for the decision rendered by the quasi-judicial agency.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez