Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1972 > April 1972 Decisions > G.R. No. L-27075 April 27, 1972 - EASTERN PLYWOOD CORP. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-27075. April 27, 1972.]

EASTERN PLYWOOD CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Defendant-Appellee.

Neptali A. Gonzales, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Solicitor General, for Defendant-Appellee.


SYLLABUS


TAXATION; APPEAL; QUESTION WHETHER COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE HAS JURISDICTION OVER REFUND OF SALES TAXES RENDERED MOOT; DECISION RELIED ON FOR REFUND OF SALES TAXES OF FOREST PRODUCTS REVERSED. — The procedural question raised in this appeal in connection with the issue of jurisdiction has become moot and academic. The decision of the Court of Tax Appeals in the case of Dingalan Forest Products Corporation versus Commissioner of Internal Revenue, relied upon by plaintiff in his complaint before the lower court, has been reversed by us in our decision promulgated on August 27, 1968 (G. R. L-24405), following previous rulings that a forest charge is a tax "upon the privilege of cutting and carting away timber and forest products, which, accordingly, are not sold by the government to the forest concessionaire," and that consequently the original sale of such products which is subject to the tax imposed under Section 186 of the Tax Code is that made by the cutter or concessionaire. The sales taxes in question were therefore properly assessed and collected from appellant, and the dismissal of the complaint would have been proper anyway on this ground.


D E C I S I O N


MAKALINTAL, J.:


Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Rizal dismissing for lack of jurisdiction appellant’s complaint for refund of taxes paid by it on sales of saw logs and waste products.

The complaint, filed on January 11, 1966 against the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, alleges that in connection with plaintiff’s logging business sales taxes of 7% under Section 186 of the National Internal Revenue Code were assessed and collected from sales of saw logs and waste products from December 1963 to April 1965, amounting to P22,153.23; that plaintiff filed a claim for refund before the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on June 24, 1955, citing the case of Dingalan Forest Products Corporation versus Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 1 wherein the Court of Tax Appeals held that the sale of forest products by the petitioner therein was not subject to the percentage sales tax since it was not an original sale taxable under Section 186 of the Tax Code, the original sale being that made by the government to the cutter or concessionaire.

The Commissioner moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the Court of Tax Appeals has exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review his decisions in cases involving refund of internal revenue taxes.

Plaintiff opposed the motion, claiming that the Commissioner had rendered no decision which could be appealed to the tax court, but had merely issued an order stating that "action on the claim is being held in abeyance" until the Dingalan Forest Products case, then pending on appeal in the Supreme Court, had been finally resolved. The said order, appellant now points out, cannot be considered as a decision which is appealable to the tax court under Section 7 of Republic Act No. 1125.

On July 8, 1966 the court a quo, disclaiming jurisdiction, issued the order of dismissal now complained of and afterwards denied plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration.

The procedural question raised in this appeal in connection with the issue of jurisdiction has become moot and academic. The decision of the Court of Tax Appeals in the case of Dingalan Forest Products Corporation versus Commissioner of Internal Revenue, relied upon by plaintiff in his complaint before the lower court, has been reversed by Us in our decision promulgated on August 27, 1968 (G.R. L-24405), following previous rulings 2 that a forest charge is a tax "upon the privilege of cutting and carting away timber and forest products, which, accordingly, are not sold by the government to the forest concessionaire," and that consequently the original sale of such products which is subject to the tax imposed under Section 186 of the Tax Code is that made by the cutter or concessionaire. The sales taxes in question were therefore properly assessed and collected from appellant, and the dismissal of the complaint would have been proper anyway on this ground.

WHEREFORE, the appeal is dismissed, without pronouncement as to costs.

Reyes, J.B.L., Actg. C . J., Zaldivar, Castro, Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar and Antonio, JJ., concur.

Concepcion, C.J., is on leave.

Endnotes:



1. CTA Case No. 1194, February 15, 1965.

2. Guerrero v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-19074, January 31, 1967; Cordero v. Conda, L-22369, October 15, 1966.




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