CD: CIR v. Aichi Forging Company of Asia, Inc.

November 23, 2010 at 7:01 pm (2010, Case Digests) (, , )

CIR v. AICHI FORGING COMPANY OF ASIA, INC.
G.R. No. 184823 October 6, 2010
Del Castillo, J.

Doctrine:
- The CIR has 120 days, from the date of the submission of the complete documents within which to grant or deny the claim for refund/credit of input vat. In case of full or partial denial by the CIR, the taxpayer’s recourse is to file an appeal before the CTA within 30 days from receipt of the decision of the CIR. However, if after the 120-day period the CIR fails to act on the application for tax refund/credit, the remedy of the taxpayer is to appeal the inaction of the CIR to CTA within 30 days.

- A taxpayer is entitled to a refund either by authority of a statute expressly granting such right, privilege, or incentive in his favor, or under the principle of solutio indebiti requiring the return of taxes erroneously or illegally collected. In both cases, a taxpayer must prove not only his entitlement to a refund but also his compliance with the procedural due process.

- As between the Civil Code and the Administrative Code of 1987, it is the latter that must prevail being the more recent law, following the legal maxim, Lex posteriori derogat priori.

- The phrase “within two (2) years x x x apply for the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund” under Subsection (A) of Section 112 of the NIRC refers to applications for refund/credit filed with the CIR and not to appeals made to the CTA.

Facts:
Petitioner filed a claim of refund/credit of input vat in relation to its zero-rated sales from July 1, 2002 to September 30, 2002. The CTA 2nd Division partially granted respondent’s claim for refund/credit.

Petitioner filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, insisting that the administrative and the judicial claims were filed beyond the two-year period to claim a tax refund/credit provided for under Sections 112(A) and 229 of the NIRC. He reasoned that since the year 2004 was a leap year, the filing of the claim for tax refund/credit on September 30, 2004 was beyond the two-year period, which expired on September 29, 2004. He cited as basis Article 13 of the Civil Code, which provides that when the law speaks of a year, it is equivalent to 365 days. In addition, petitioner argued that the simultaneous filing of the administrative and the judicial claims contravenes Sections 112 and 229 of the NIRC. According to the petitioner, a prior filing of an administrative claim is a “condition precedent” before a judicial claim can be filed.

The CTA denied the MPR thus the case was elevated to the CTA En Banc for review. The decision was affirmed. Thus the case was elevated to the Supreme Court.

Respondent contends that the non-observance of the 120-day period given to the CIR to act on the claim for tax refund/credit in Section 112(D) is not fatal because what is important is that both claims are filed within the two-year prescriptive period. In support thereof, respondent cited Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Victorias Milling Co., Inc. [130 Phil 12 (1968)] where it was ruled that “if the CIR takes time in deciding the claim, and the period of two years is about to end, the suit or proceeding must be started in the CTA before the end of the two-year period without awaiting the decision of the CIR.”

Issues:
1. Whether or not the claim for refund was filed within the prescribed period
2. Whether or not the simultaneous filing of the administrative and the judicial claims contravenes Section 229 of the NIRC, which requires the prior filing of an administrative claim, and violates the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies

Held:
1. Yes. As ruled in the case of Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Mirant Pagbilao Corporation (G.R. No. 172129, September 12, 2008), the two-year period should be reckoned from the close of the taxable quarter when the sales were made.

In Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Primetown Property Group, Inc (G.R. No. 162155, August 28, 2007, 531 SCRA 436), we said that as between the Civil Code, which provides that a year is equivalent to 365 days, and the Administrative Code of 1987, which states that a year is composed of 12 calendar months, it is the latter that must prevail being the more recent law, following the legal maxim, Lex posteriori derogat priori.

Thus, applying this to the present case, the two-year period to file a claim for tax refund/credit for the period July 1, 2002 to September 30, 2002 expired on September 30, 2004. Hence, respondent’s administrative claim was timely filed.

2. Yes. We find the filing of the judicial claim with the CTA premature.

Section 112(D) of the NIRC clearly provides that the CIR has “120 days, from the date of the submission of the complete documents in support of the application [for tax refund/credit],” within which to grant or deny the claim. In case of full or partial denial by the CIR, the taxpayer’s recourse is to file an appeal before the CTA within 30 days from receipt of the decision of the CIR. However, if after the 120-day period the CIR fails to act on the application for tax refund/credit, the remedy of the taxpayer is to appeal the inaction of the CIR to CTA within 30 days.

Subsection (A) of Section 112 of the NIRC states that “any VAT-registered person, whose sales are zero-rated or effectively zero-rated may, within two years after the close of the taxable quarter when the sales were made, apply for the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund of creditable input tax due or paid attributable to such sales.” The phrase “within two (2) years x x x apply for the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund” refers to applications for refund/credit filed with the CIR and not to appeals made to the CTA.

The case of Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Victorias Milling, Co., Inc. is inapplicable as the tax provision involved in that case is Section 306, now Section 229 of the NIRC. Section 229 does not apply to refunds/credits of input VAT.

The premature filing of respondent’s claim for refund/credit of input VAT before the CTA warrants a dismissal inasmuch as no jurisdiction was acquired by the CTA.

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On Choosing Complex Cases

November 22, 2010 at 9:45 am (Quotations) ()

 

I am looking for more difficult cases. What will you do with your life if you don’t handle these types of cases? You become a notary public.

- Atty. Philip Sigrid Fortun

 

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CD: Duran v. Intermediate Appellate Court

November 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm (1985, Case Digests) (, , , )

DURAN v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
G.R. No. L-64159 September 10, 1985
Relova, J.

Doctrine:
The fraudulent and forged document of sale may become the root of a valid title if the certificate has already been transferred from the name of the true owner to the name indicated by the forger.

- The mortgagee has the right to rely on what appears in the certificate of title and, in the absence of anything to excite suspicion, he is under no obligation to look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the mortgagor appearing on the face of the said certificate.

- Good faith, while it is always to be presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary, requires a well-founded belief that the person from whom title was received was himself the owner of the land, with the right to convey it.

Facts:
Petitioner Duran owned 2 parcels of land. She left the Philippines in June 1954 and returned in May 1966. On 1963, a Deed of Sale was made in favor of the petitioner’s mother. On December 1965, Duran’s mother mortgaged the same property to private respondent Erlinda Marcelo-Tiangco. When Duran came to know about the mortgage made by her mother, she wrote the Register of Deeds informing the latter that she had not given her mother any authority to sell or mortgage any of her properties in the Philippines. Meanwhile, foreclosure proceedings were initiated by Tiangco upon the failure of Duran’s mother to redeem the mortgaged properties.

Duran claims that the Deed of Sale is a forgery, saying that at the time of its execution in 1963 she was in the United States. Respondent Court ruled that there is a presumption of regularity in the case of a public document.

Issue:
Whether private respondent was a buyer in good faith and for value

Held:
Yes. Good faith consists in the possessor’s belief that the person from who he received the thing was the owner of the same and could convey his title (Arriola v. Gomez Dela Serna, 14 Phil. 627). Good faith, while it is always to be presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary, requires a well-founded belief that the person from whom title was received was himself the owner of the land, with the right to convey it (Santiago v. Cruz, 19 Phil. 148).

The mortgagee has the right to rely on what appears in the certificate of title and, in the absence of anything to excite suspicion, he is under no obligation to look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the mortgagor appearing on the face of the said certificate. Every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefore and the law will in no way oblige him to go behind the certificate to determine the condition of the property. If the rule were otherwise, the efficacy and conclusiveness of the Torrens Certificate of Titles would be futile and nugatory. Thus the rule is simple: the fraudulent and forged document of sale may become the root of a valid title if the certificate has already been transferred from the name of the true owner to the name indicated by the forger.

While it is true that under Article 2085 of the Civil Code, it is essential that the mortgagor be the absolute owner of the property mortgaged, and while as between the daughter and her mother, it was the daughter who still owns the lots, STILL insofar as innocent third persons are concerned the owner was already the mother inasmuch as she had already become the registered owner.

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CD: JRA Philippines, Inc. v. CIR

October 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm (2010, Case Digests) (, , )

J.R.A. PHILIPPINES, INC. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE
G.R. No. 177127 October 11, 2010
Del Castillo, J.

Doctrine:
The absence of the word “zero rated” on the invoices/receipts is fatal to a claim for credit/refund of input VAT.
- Stare decisis et non quieta movere. Courts are bound by prior decisions. Thus, once a case has been decided one way, courts have no choice but to resolve subsequent cases involving the same issue in the same manner.

Facts:
Petitioner, a PEZA Corporation, filed applications for tax credit/refund of unutilized input VAT on its zero-rated sales for the taxable quarters of 2000. The claim for credit/refund, however, remained unacted by the respondent. Hence, petitioner was constrained to file a petition before the CTA.

The CTA eventually denied the petition for lack of the word “zero-rated” on the invoices/receipts.

Issue:
Whether or not the failure to print the word “zero-rated” on the invoices/receipts is fatal to a claim for credit/ refund of input VAT on zero-rated sales

Held:
Yes. The absence of the word “zero rated” on the invoices/receipts is fatal to a claim for credit/refund of input VAT. This has been squarely resolved in Panasonic Communications Imaging Corporation of the Philippines (formerly Matsushita Business Machine Corporation of the Philippines) v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (G.R. No. 178090, 612 SCRA 28, February 8, 2010). In that case, the claim for tax credit/refund was denied for non-compliance with Section 4.108-1 of Revenue Regulations No. 7-95, which requires the word “zero rated” to be printed on the invoices/receipts covering zero-rated sales.

From the abovementioned decision, the Court ruled that the appearance of the word “zero-rated” on the face of invoices covering zero-rated sales prevents buyers from falsely claiming input VAT from their purchases when no VAT was actually paid. If, absent such word, a successful claim for input VAT is made, the government would be refunding money it did not collect.

Stare decisis et non quieta movere. Courts are bound by prior decisions. Thus, once a case has been decided one way, courts have no choice but to resolve subsequent cases involving the same issue in the same manner [Agencia Exquisite of Bohol, Incorporated v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. Nos. 150141, 157359 and 158644, February 12, 2009, 578 SCRA 539, 550].

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CD: Spouses Beltran v. Nieves

October 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm (2010, Case Digests) (, , , )

SPOUSES BELTRAN v. NIEVES
G.R. No. 175561 October 20, 2010
Carpio, J.

Doctrine:
- A certificate of title is conclusive evidence of ownership. Registered owners are entitled to the possession of the property covered by the title from the time such title was issued in their favor. No entitlement to possess the property is granted on the basis of an unregistered deed of sale.

- The tax declarations presented are not conclusive evidences of ownership, but are good indicators of possession in the concept of an owner.

- The only issue in an ejectment case is the physical possession of real property: possession de facto and not possession de jure. Prior physical possession is material only in forcible entry cases. In an ejectment suit, the question of ownership may be provisionally ruled upon only for the sole purpose of determining who is entitled to possession de facto.

- A person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand. In case of failure, a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them.

- Any question regarding the validity of a title can only be assailed in an action expressly instituted for that purpose. A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack.

Facts:
Respondent Nieves is the registered owner of the subject parcel of land as well as the house thereon. Milagros Beltran is Nieves’ niece, being the daughter of Gaston, Nieves’ brother. In asserting their ownership and rightful occupation against Nieves, petitioners spouses Beltran claim that Nieves sold the land and house to Gaston. The deed of sale, which Nieves disclaims having signed, remains unregistered.

The MTC and, subsequently, the RTC respected the right of possession of the spouses Beltran. The CA reversed the decision.

Issues:
1. Whether or not an unregistered deed of sale is sufficient to grant ownership over the property
2. Whether or not title is material in ejectment suits

Held:
1. No. No entitlement to possess the property is granted on the basis of an unregistered deed of sale. A certificate of title is conclusive evidence of ownership. Registered owners are entitled to the possession of the property covered by the title from the time such title was issued in their favor [Spouses Apostol v. Court of Appeals, 476 Phil. 403 (2004)].

The tax declarations presented by the spouses Beltran are not conclusive evidences of ownership, but are good indicators of possession in the concept of an owner.

Whatever right of possession that the spouses Beltran may have over the subject property cannot prevail over that of Nieves for the simple reason that Nieves is the registered owner of the subject property and the alleged deed of sale remains unregistered.

2. No. The only issue in an ejectment case is the physical possession of real property: possession de facto and not possession de jure. In an ejectment suit, the question of ownership may be provisionally ruled upon only for the sole purpose of determining who is entitled to possession de facto [Umpoc v. Mercado, 490 Phil. 120,136 (2005)].

A person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them [Calubayan, et al. v. Pascual, 128 Phil. 160, 163 (1967)].

Although it is true that the spouses Beltran, and not Nieves, were in prior physical possession of the subject property, this argument cannot hold water as prior physical possession is material only in forcible entry cases (Spouses Apostol v. Court of Appeals, supra).

Any question regarding the validity of Nieves’ title can only be assailed in an action expressly instituted for that purpose. A certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack (Section 48, P.D. No. 1529).

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Terrorism Defined

October 11, 2010 at 2:12 pm (Legal Definitions) (, )

How is “Terrorism” defined under Philippine laws?

Republic Act (RA) No. 9372, otherwise known as The Anti-Terror Law or The Human Security Act of 2007, which took effect last July 15, 2007, provides for its definition as follows:

SEC. 3. Terrorism. Any person who commits an act punishable under any of the following provisions of the Revised Penal Code:

1. Article 122 (Piracy in General and Mutiny in the High Seas or in the Philippine Waters);
2. Article 134 (Rebellion or Insurrection);
3. Article 134-a (Coup de tat), including acts committed by private persons;
4. Article 248 (Murder);
5. Article 267 (Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention);
6. Article 324 (Crimes Involving Destruction,

or under
1. Presidential Decree No. 1613 (The Law on Arson);
2. Republic Act No. 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act of 1990);
3. Republic Act No. 5207, (Atomic Energy Regulatory and Liability Act of 1968);
4. Republic Act No. 6235 (Anti-Hijacking Law);
5. Presidential Decree No. 532 (Anti-piracy and Anti-highway Robbery Law of 1974); and,
6. Presidential Decree No. 1866, as amended (Decree Codifying the Laws on Illegal and Unlawful Possession, Manufacture, Dealing in, Acquisition or Disposition of Firearms, Ammunitions or Explosives)

thereby sowing and creating a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand shall be guilty of the crime of terrorism and shall suffer the penalty of forty (40) years of imprisonment, without the benefit of parole as provided for under Act No. 4103, otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law, as amended.

This post is made in the light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling of the constitutionality of RA 9372.

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CD: Sibal v. Valdez

October 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm (1927, Case Digests) (, , , )

SIBAL v. VALDEZ
G.R. No. L-26278 August 4, 1927
Johnson, J.

Doctrine:
A crop raised on leased premises belongs to the lessee and in no sense forms part of the immovable.

“Ungathered products” have the nature of personal property. In other words, the phrase “personal property” should be understood to include “ungathered products.” Crops, whether growing or standing in the field ready to be harvested, are, when produced by annual cultivation, no part of the realty.

A valid sale may be made of a thing, which though not yet actually in existence, is reasonably certain to come into existence. A man may sell property of which he is potentially and not actually possessed.

Facts:
Plaintiff alleged that the defendant Vitaliano Mamawal, deputy sheriff of the Province of Tarlac, by virtue of a writ of execution issued by the Court of First Instance of Pampanga, attached and sold to the defendant Emiliano J. Valdez the sugar cane planted by the plaintiff and his tenants on seven parcels of land. Plaintiff offered to redeem said sugar cane and tendered to the defendant Valdez the amount sufficient to cover the price paid by the latter, the interest thereon and any assessments or taxes which he may have paid thereon after the purchase, and the interest corresponding thereto. However, Valdez refused to accept the money and to return the sugar cane to the plaintiff.

Meanwhile, defendant argued that the sugar cane was personal property hence not subject to redemption.

Issue:
1. Whether or not the sugar cane is to be classified as personal property
2. Whether or not future crops to be harvested can be considered a valid object of sale

Held:
1. No. A crop raised on leased premises in no sense forms part of the immovable. It belongs to the lessee, and may be sold by him, whether it be gathered or not, and it may be sold by his judgment creditors.

Ungathered products” have the nature of personal property. In other words, the phrase “personal property” should be understood to include “ungathered products.” Crops, whether growing or standing in the field ready to be harvested, are, when produced by annual cultivation, no part of the realty.

2. Yes. A valid sale may be made of a thing, which though not yet actually in existence, is reasonably certain to come into existence as the natural increment or usual incident of something already in existence, and then belonging to the vendor, and then title will vest in the buyer the moment the thing comes into existence (Emerson vs. European Railway Co., 67 Me., 387; Cutting vs. Packers Exchange, 21 Am. St. Rep., 63.).

A man may sell property of which he is potentially and not actually possessed.

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CD: Robles v. Hermanos

October 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm (1927, Case Digests) (, , )

ROBLES v. HERMANOS
G.R. No. L-26173 July 13, 1927
Street, J.

Doctrine:
The lessee may prove an independent verbal agreement on the part of the landlord to put the leased premises in a safe condition.

The appraised value of the property may be used to determine the price.

Facts:
A parcel of land was originally owned by the parents of the present plaintiff, Zacarias Robles. Upon the death of his father, plaintiff leased the parcel of land from the administrator with the stipulation that any permanent improvements necessary to the cultivation and exploitation of the hacienda should be made at the expense of the lessee without right to indemnity at the end of the term. As the place was in a run-down state, and it was foreseen that the lessee would be put to much expense in bringing the property to its productive capacity, the annual rent was fixed at the moderate amount of P2,000 per annum.

The plaintiff made various improvements and additions to the plant. The firm of Lizarraga Hermanos was well aware of the nature and extent of these improvements.

When the plaintiff’s mother died, defendant came forward with a proposal to buy the heirs’ portion of the property. In consideration that the plaintiff should shorten the term of his lease to the extent stated, the defendant agreed to pay him the value of all betterments that he had made on the land and furthermore to purchase from him all that belonged to him personally on the land. The plaintiff agreed to this.

On the ensuing instrument made, no reference was made to the surrender of the plaintiff’s rights as lessee, except in fixing the date when the lease should end; nor is anything said concerning the improvements which the plaintiff had placed. At the same time the promise of the defendant to compensate for him for the improvements was wanting. Accordingly, the representative of the defendant explained that this was unnecessary in view of the confidence existing between the parties.

On the part of the defendant it was claimed that the agreement with respect to compensating the plaintiff for improvements and other things was never in fact made.

Issue:
1. Whether or not the lessee may contest the validity of a written contract with oral evidence
2. Whether or not the appreciation value can be used to determine the price

Held:
1. Yes. In case of a written contract of lease, the lessee may prove an independent verbal agreement on the part of the landlord to put the leased premises in a safe condition. The verbal contract which the plaintiff has established in this case is therefore clearly independent of the main contract of conveyance, and evidence of such verbal contract is admissible under the doctrine above stated. In the case before us the written contract is complete in itself; the oral agreement is also complete in itself, and it is a collateral to the written contract, notwithstanding the fact that it deals with related matters.

2. Yes. The stipulation with respect to the appraisal of the property did not create a suspensive condition. The true sense of the contract evidently was that the defendant would take over the movables and the improvements at an appraised valuation, and the defendant obligated itself to promote the appraisal in good faith. As the defendant partially frustrated the appraisal, it violated a term of the contract and made itself liable for the true value of the things contracted about, as such value may be established in the usual course of proof. Furthermore, an unjust enrichment of the defendant would result from allowing it to appropriate the movables without compensating the plaintiff thereof.

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CD: Lichauco v. Olegario

October 1, 2010 at 10:06 am (1922, Case Digests) (, , )

LICHAUCO v. OLEGARIO
G.R. No. L-17709 June 20, 1922
Romualdez, J.

Doctrine:
An execution debtor has the perfect right to sell his right of redemption.

Facts:
A judgement was rendered against Olegario in a case, where he is also a defendant, wherein certain real properties of his are sold at a public auction in which he shall receive Php. 10,000, as offered, for these properties.

Gregorio Olegario sold to his cousin and brother-in-law Dalmacio Olegario, the other defendant in this case, his right of redemption over the aforesaid properties, executing the proper deed of sale, which was registered in the registry on the date of the conveyance. The plaintiff alleges that this sale is fictitious, — the result of a fraudulent conspiracy between the herein defendants.

Issue:
Whether or not an execution debtor has the authority to sell his right of redemption

Held:
Yes. An execution debtor has the perfect right to sell his right of redemption.

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CD: Yu Tek v. Gonzales

September 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm (1915, Case Digests) (, , )

YU TEK v. GONZALES
G.R. No. L-9935 February 1, 1915
Trent, J.

Doctrine:
There is a perfected sale with regard to the “thing” whenever the article of sale has been physically segregated from all other articles.

Facts:
Gonzalez received P3,000 from Yu Tek and Co. and in exchange, the former obligated himself to deliver 600 piculs of sugar of the first and second grade, according to the result of the polarization, within the period of three months. It was also stipulated that in case Gonzales fails to deliver, the contract will be rescinded he will be obligated to return the P3,000 received and also the sum of P1,200 by way of indemnity for loss and damages.

Plaintiff proved that no sugar had been delivered to him under the contract nor had he been able to recover the P3,000.

Gonzales assumed that the contract was limited to the sugar he might raise upon his own plantation; that the contract represented a perfected sale; and that by failure of his crop he was relieved from complying with his undertaking by loss of the thing due.

Issue:
Whether or not there was a perfected contract of sale

Held:
No. This court has consistently held that there is a perfected sale with regard to the “thing” whenever the article of sale has been physically segregated from all other articles.

In the case at bar, the undertaking of the defendant was to sell to the plaintiff 600 piculs of sugar of the first and second classes. Was this an agreement upon the “thing” which was the object of the contract? For the purpose of sale its bulk is weighed, the customary unit of weight being denominated a “picul.” Now, if called upon to designate the article sold, it is clear that the defendant could only say that it was “sugar.” He could only use this generic name for the thing sold. There was no “appropriation” of any particular lot of sugar. Neither party could point to any specific quantity of sugar and say: “This is the article which was the subject of our contract.”

We conclude that the contract in the case at bar was merely an executory agreement; a promise of sale and not a sale. There was no perfected sale.

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