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Court affirms denial of Vestas’ tax refund claim for P92 million


THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) affirmed its ruling that denied Vestas Services Philippines, Inc.’s tax refund claim worth P92.04 million allegedly representing its excess value-added tax (VAT) traced to zero-rated sales for the fourth quarter of 2014.

In a 27-page decision dated Feb. 7 and made public on Feb. 14, the CTA full court said the firm filed its claim at the wrong revenue district office (RDO).

“With the foregoing, it becomes unequivocal that petitioner (Vestas) was indeed informed and/or notified of the completion of the transfer of its registration to RDO No. 51 prior to filing its application for value-added tax refund claim,” Associate Justice Jean Marie A. Bacorro-Villena said in the ruling. “However it deliberately filed its application for VAT refund in the wrong venue.”

The tax court said the claim must be voided since the venue the firm filed its refund claim did not have jurisdiction over it.

It also agreed with the CTA Third Division’s ruling that said the firm failed to prove that its sales were subject to a 0% VAT rating.

Under the country’s tax code, zero-rated sales are transactions made by VAT-registered taxpayers that do not result in any output tax.

Taxpayers must also file administrative claims in writing with the commissioner of internal revenue within two years after payment.

Vestas filed its refund claim at the old revenue office on Dec. 29, 2016, even after being informed of its Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) registration being transferred to RDO 51, which is based in Pasay City.

The petitioner had transferred its main office from Makati City to Pasay City, which led to the transfer of its BIR registration.

Vestas engages in the business of installation and construction services, including servicing wind power systems.

The CTA noted that the firm’s own witness admitted in open court that the firm was aware of the transfer of registration when the refund claim was filed.

“As petitioner did not deny the admissions nor claim that these were made through palpable mistake, the admitted facts are incontrovertible,” the tribunal said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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