CTA affirms Macquarie’s reduced P50.5-M value-added tax refund

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THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has upheld its decision to grant Macquarie Offshore Services Pty., Ltd. a P50.5-million refund representing its excess input value-added tax (VAT) traced to zero-rated sales of its P82.97 million original claim.

In a 13-page decision dated Oct. 3 and made public on Oct. 5, the CTA full court said it found no clear reason to reverse its ruling on the firm’s claim.

“Based on the foregoing, the court finds no compelling reason to modify or reverse the findings of the CTA Third Division,” according to the ruling penned by Associate Justice Catherine T. Manahan.

Under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, zero-rated sales are transactions made by VAT-registered taxpayers that do not translate to any output tax.

The petitioner is the Philippine branch of an Australia-based multinational company engaged in international trade with affiliates, subsidiaries, or branch offices in the Asia-Pacific region.

The commissioner of internal revenue (CIR) argued that the trading firm’s claim should have been denied since it failed to present its authority to print (ATP) official invoices and receipts to prove its excess VAT.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue requires businesses to present ATPs before they can print official receipts or sales.

The tax court disagreed, saying Macquarie secured and obtained an ATP before printing its official receipts and service invoices. It added that the CIR failed to point out any specific error in the tribunal’s findings.

“Findings of the face by the CTA in Division are not to be disturbed without any showing of grave abuse of discretion considering that the members of the division are in the best position to analyze the documents presented by the parties.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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