GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION I. TAXATION TAXATION is the inherent power by which the sovereign, through its law-making body, raises revenue to defray the necessary expenses of the government. It is a manner of apportioning the costs of the government among those who, in some measure, are privileged to enjoy its benefits and must bear its burdens. INHERENT TO THE STATE: It is inherent in character because its exercise is guaranteed by the mere existence of the state. It could be exercised even in the absence of a constitutional grant. The power to tax proceeds upon the theory that the existence of a government is a necessity and this power is an essential and inherent attribute of sovereignty, belonging as a matter of right to every independent state or government. (Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of the Philippines vs. Municipality of Tanauan, Leyte, G.R. No. L-31156, February 27, 1976) SCOPE OF LEGISLATIVE POWER TO TAX 1. The determination of purposes for which taxes shall be levied provided it is for the benefit of the public. 2. The determination of subjects of taxation such as the person, property or occupation within its jurisdiction. 3. The determination as to the amount or rate of tax unless constitutionally prohibited. 4. The determination as to the kind of tax to be collected (i.e. property tax, income tax, inheritance tax, etc.). 5. The determination of agencies to collect the taxes. 6. The power to specify or provide for administrative and judicial remedies. 7. The power to grant tax exemptions and condonations. THEORY AND BASIS 1. Life Blood Theory – Taxes are the lifeblood of the government and so should be collected without unnecessary hindrance. (Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Algue; GR No. L-28896; Feb. 17, 1988) 2. Necessity Theory - government is necessary; however, it cannot continue without the means of paying for its existence; hence, it has the right to compel all citizens and property within its power to contribute for the same purpose. (71 Am. Jur. 2d 346) The power to tax is an attribute of sovereignty. It is a power emanating from necessity. It is a necessary burden to preserve the State's sovereignty and a means to give the citizenry an army to resist an aggression, a navy to defend its shores from invasion, a corps of civil servants to serve, public improvement designed for the enjoyment of the citizenry and those which come within the State's territory, and facilities and protection which a government is supposed to provide. (Phil. Guaranty Co., Inc. vs. CIR; GR No. L-22074; April 30, 965) 3. Symbiotic relationship theory - It is said that taxes are what we pay for a civilized society. Without taxes, the government would be paralyzed for lack of the motive power to activate and operate it. Hence, despite the natural reluctance to surrender part of one's hard earned income to the taxing authorities, every person who is able to must contribute his share in the running of the government. The government for its part, is expected to respond in the form of tangible and intangible benefits intended to improve the lives of the people and enhance their moral and material values. This symbiotic relationship is the rationale of taxation and should dispel the erroneous notion that it is an arbitrary method of exaction by those in the seat of power. (Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Algue, supra) PURPOSE OF TAXATION 1. Primary – to raise revenues; to support the existence of the State and enable the state to promote the general welfare. 2. Secondary – non-revenue or sumptuary a. Promotion of general welfare – taxation may be used to implement police power (e.g., grant of VAT exemption and Discounts to Senior Citizens); b. Regulation - where taxes are levied on excises or privileges for purposes of rehabilitation and stabilization of threatened industry which is affected by public interest or to discourage consumption of harmful products (e.g., excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol); c. Reduction of Social Inequity – This is made possible through the progressive system of taxation where the objective is to prevent the undue concentration of wealth in the hands of few individuals. Progressivity is keystoned on the principle that those who are able to pay should shoulder the bigger portion of the tax burden. (e.g., Income tax) d. Encouragement of economic growth – tax incentives and reliefs may be granted to encourage investment (i.e., Income Tax Holiday, 5% preferential Gross Income Tax for PEZA registered entities); e. Protectionism – for the protection of local industries, in case of foreign importations, protective tariffs and customs duties and fees (e.g., Special Duties imposed by the Bureau of Customs) CHARACTERISTICS OF THE POWER TO TAX (CUPS) 1. Comprehensive – it covers persons, businesses, activities, professions, rights and privileges. 2. Unlimited – it is so unlimited in force and searching in extent that courts scarcely venture to declare that it is subject to any restrictions, except those that such rests in the discretion of the authority which exercises it. (Tio vs. Videogram Regulatory Board; GR No. 75697; June 18, 1987) 3. Plenary – it is complete; unqualified; absolute. Under the Tax Code, the BIR may avail of certain remedies to ensure collection of taxes. 4. Supreme – insofar as the selection of the subject of taxation is concerned. PRINCIPLES OF A SOUND TAX SYSTEM (FAT) 1. Fiscal Adequacy – revenue raised must be sufficient to meet government/public expenditures and other public needs. (Chavez vs. Ongpin; GR No. 76778; June 6, 1990) 2. Administrative Feasibility – tax laws must be clear and concise; capable of effective and efficient enforcement; convenient as to time and manner of payment, must not obstruct business growth and economic development. The VAT law cannot be considered as violative of the Administrative Feasibility principle because it is principally aimed to rationalize the system on taxes of goods and services. Thus, simplifying tax administration and making the system more equitable to enable the country to attain economic recovery. (Kapatiran ng Mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan v. Tan; June 30, 1988) 3. Theoretical Justice – must take into consideration the taxpayer’s ability to pay (Ability to Pay Theory). Art. VI, Sec. 28(1) of the 1987 Constitution mandates that the rule on taxation must be uniform and equitable and that the State evolve a progressive system of taxation. NOTE: Non-observance of Fiscal Adequacy and Administrative Feasibility will render the tax measure unsound but not unconstitutional. However, non-observance of the Principle of Theoretical Justice is invalid because the Constitution itself requires that taxation must be equitable. “THE POWER TO TAX IS THE POWER TO DESTROY” According to Justice Marshall: The power to tax includes the power to destroy. Taxation is a destructive power which interferes with the personal and property rights of the people and takes from them a portion of their property for the support of the government. (McCulloch vs. Maryland, 4 Wheat, 316 4 L ed. 579, 607) However, according to Justice Holmes: The power to tax is not the power to destroy as long as this court (Supreme Court) sits. Taxpayers may seek redress before the courts in case of illegal imposition of taxes and irregularities. The Constitution, as the fundamental law, overrides any legislative or executive act that runs counter to it. In any case, therefore, where it can be demonstrated that the challenged statutory provision fails to abide by its command, then the court must declare and adjudge it null. (Sison Jr. v. Ancheta; G.R. No. L-59431; July 25, 1984) IMPRESCRIPTIBILITY OF TAXES: Taxes are generally imprescriptible, except when the law provides otherwise, e.g. the statute of limitations provided under the Tax Code. DOUBLE TAXATION: means taxing the same person for the same tax period and the same activity twice, by the same jurisdiction. Double taxation in strict sense is when: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Both taxes are imposed on the same property or subject matter; For the same purpose; Imposed by the same taxing authority; Within the same jurisdiction; During the same taxing period; Covering the same kind or character of tax. Double Taxation in Broad sense is the opposite of direct double taxation and is not legally objectionable. The absence of one or more of the foregoing requisites of obnoxious direct tax makes it indirect. Constitutionality of double taxation: Double taxation in its stricter sense is unconstitutional but that in the broader sense is not necessarily so. Our Constitution does not prohibit double taxation. However, double taxation will not be allowed if it results in a violation of the equal protection clause. Modes of eliminating double taxation 1. 2. Tax Deduction – an amount subtracted from the gross income to arrive at taxable income. Tax Credit - an amount subtracted from an individual’s or entity’s tax liability (tax due) to arrive at the tax liability still due. A deduction differs from a tax credit, in that a deduction reduces taxable income while a credit reduces tax liability. 3. Treaties with other states: a tax treaty sets out the respective rights to tax of the state of source (situs) and the state of residence with regard to certain cases, an exclusive right to tax is conferred on one of the contracting states; however, for other items of income or capital, both states are given the right to tax, although the amount of tax that may be imposed by the state of source is limited. It applies whenever the state of source is given full or limited right to tax. The treaty makes it incumbent upon the state of residence to allow relief in order to avoid double taxation. Note: The BIR issued RMO No. 1-2000, as amended by RMO No. 72-2010, requiring taxpayers to file for a Tax Treaty Relief Application on or before the transaction date before availing of the provisions of a tax treaty. However, as held by the Supreme Court, this administrative requirement cannot defeat the right of any taxpayer entitled to the preferential rates in the tax treaty. FORMS OF ESCAPE FROM TAXATION 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Shifting – the burden of payment is transferred from the statutory taxpayer to another without violating the law (e.g., VAT); Capitalization – the reduction in the price of the taxed object equal to the capitalized value of future taxes the purchaser is expected to be called upon to pay. Transformation - for manufacturers or producers, upon whom tax are imposed, fearing the loss of his market if he should add to the price, pays the tax and endeavor to recoup himself by improving his process of production, thereby producing his units at a lower cost. Tax Avoidance – exploitation by the taxpayer of legally permissible alternative tax rates or methods of assessing taxable property or income, in order to avoid or reduce tax liability. Also known as “tax minimization.” (e.g. utilizing all permissible allowable deductions) Tax Exemption – grant of immunity to particular persons or corporations of a particular class from a tax which persons or corporations generally within the same rate or taxing district are obliged to pay. Basic Principles Regarding Tax Exemption i. ii. iii. iv. v. Exemptions are highly disfavored by law and he who claims an exemption must be able to justify his claim by the clearest grant of law. An exemption from the common burden cannot be permitted to exist upon vague implication. (Asiatic Petroleum Co. vs. Llanes, 49 Phil. 466; see also House vs. Posadas, 53 Phil. 338)." (Collector of Int. Revenue vs. Manila Jockey Club, Inc., G.R. No. L-8755, March 24, 1956) He who claims exemption should prove his factual and legal basis for exemption. (Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Acesite (Philippines) Hotel Corporation, G.R. No. 147295, February 16, 2007) Tax exemptions are strictly construed against the person claiming it. (Esso Standard Eastern, Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Customs; GR No. L21841; Oct. 28, 1966) Constitutional grant of exemptions are self-executing. In the same way that taxes are personal, tax exemptions are also personal. vi. Deductions from income tax purposes partake of the nature of tax exemptions, therefore should also be construed strictly against the taxpayer. (Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. General Foods (Phils), Inc.; GR No. 143672; April 24, 2003) vii. Same treatments are given to tax refunds. (Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Eastern Telecommunications Phils., Inc., G.R. No. 163835, July 7, 2010) Kinds of Tax Exemption As to Form: a. Express - Expressly granted by the Constitution, statutes, treaties, franchises or similar legislative acts. b. Implied - When particular persons, properties, or exercise are deemed exempt as they fall outside the scope of the taxing provision itself. c. Contractual - Are those agreed to by the taxing authority in contract lawfully entered into by them under enabling laws. As to Basis: a. Constitutional Exemptions – Immunities from taxation which originate from the Constitution. b. Statutory Exemptions – those which emanate from legislation. As to Extent: a. Total Exemption – connotes absolute immunity. b. Partial Exemption – one where a collection of a part of the tax is dispensed with. Grounds for Tax Exemption a. b. c. Contract – the grant of tax exemption is usually contained in the charter of the corporation to which the exemption is granted. Public policy - to encourage new and necessary industries, or to foster charitable institutions. Reciprocity – to reduce the rigors of international double or multiple taxation, tax exemptions maybe granted in treaties. A tax exemption is a personal privilege of the grantee and therefore not assignable; it is generally revocable by the government, unless founded on contract and must not be discriminatory. Revocation of Tax Exemption: If the grant of an exemption does not constitute a contract, but merely “a spontaneous concession by the legislature, not connected with any service or duty imposed” it is REVOCABLE by the power which made the grant. Thus, if the basis of the tax exemptions is by virtue of a franchise granted by Congress, the exemption may be revoked. However, if the tax exemption constitutes a binding contract and for a valuable consideration, the government cannot unilaterally revoke the tax exemption. 6. Tax Evasion – use of a taxpayer of illegal or fraudulent means to defeat or lessen the payment of tax. Also known as “tax dodging,” it presupposes malice, fraud, bad faith, or willful intent on the part of the taxpayer either to underdeclare income or overdeclare deductions to defeat tax liability. Connotes the integration of 3 Factors: a. The end to be achieved, i.e. the payment of less than that known by the taxpayer to be legally due; b. An accompanying state of mind which is described as being “evil”, in “bad faith”, “willful”, or “deliberate and not merely accidental”, and c. A course of action or failure of action which is unlawful. 7. Compensation or Set-off: as a general rule, taxes cannot be the subject of a set-off or compensation because of the lifeblood doctrine; they are not contractual obligations but arise out of duty to the government; and the government and the taxpayer are not mutually debtors and creditors of each other. (Francia vs. IAC No. L-67649; June 28, 1988) Taxes are of a distinct kind, essence and nature, and these impositions cannot be classed in merely the same category as ordinary obligations; the applicable laws and principles governing each are peculiar, not necessary common, to each; and public policy is better subserved if the integrity and independence of taxes are maintained. (Republic vs. Mambulao Lumber Co.) A person cannot refuse to pay tax on the basis that the government owes him an amount equal to or greater than the tax being collected. The collection of a tax cannot await the results of a lawsuit against the government. (Philex Mining Corp. v. Commissioner) Doctrine of Equitable Recoupment: is a doctrine in common law applicable where the taxpayer has a claim for refund but he was not able to file a written claim due to the lapse of the prescription period within which to make a refund. The taxpayer is allowed to credit such refund to his existing tax liability. This doctrine is not allowed in the Philippines. Note that the prescription of tax refunds in this jurisdiction is generally two years from the date of payment and the assessment of taxes is generally 3 years from filing. Thus, if the taxpayer failed to file a refund within the 2 year period, his liability as assessed by the BIR cannot be recouped against such prescribed refund claim. 8. Compromise and Abatement – these are powers granted to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to reduce tax liabilities and/or penalties. (see Tax 9. Tax Amnesty refers to the articulation of the absolute waiver by a sovereign of its right to collect taxes and power to impose penalties on persons or entities guilty of violating a tax law. Tax amnesty aims to grant a general reprieve to tax evaders who wish to come clean by giving them an opportunity to straighten out their records. (Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 178797, 4 August 2009) Remedies) Distinguished with tax exemption: Tax amnesty is an immunity from all criminal and civil obligations arising from non-payment of taxes. It is a general pardon given to all taxpayers. It applies only to past tax periods. (People vs. Castañeda, G.R. No. L-46881, September 15, 1988) It applies to past tax liabilities. Tax exemption is an immunity from the civil liability only. It is an immunity or privilege, a freedom from a charge or burden of which others are subjected. (Florer vs. Sheridan, 137 Ind. 28, 36 NE 365). It applies prospectively after the grant of exemption or qualification therefrom. TAX AMNESTY ACT (Republic Act No. 11213): towards the policy of the State in protecting and enhancing revenue administration and collection, the State shall: a. Provide a one-time opportunity to settle estate tax obligations through an estate tax amnesty program that will give reasonable relief to estates with deficiency estate taxes b. Enhance revenue collection by providing a tax amnesty on delinquencies to minimize administrative costs in pursuing tax cases and declog the dockets of the BIR and the courts; and c. Provide a more equitable tax system by adopting a comprehensive tax reform program that will simplify the requirements on tax amnesties with the use of simplified forms and utilization of information technology in broading the tax base. General Amnesty: the law originally includes a general tax amnesty to cover all other taxes, but this portion of the law (Title III) was vetoed entirely by the President stating that “without the provisions breaking down the walls of bank secrecy, setting the legal framework for us to comply with international standards on exchange of information for tax purposes, and safeguarding against those who abuse the amnesty by declaring an untruthful asset or net worth, a general amnesty that is overgenerous and unregulated would create an environment ripe for future tax evasion, the very thing we wish to address.” Estate Tax Amnesty: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l. m. n. Coverage: estate of decedents who died on or before December 31, 2017, with or without assessments duly issued therefor, whose estate taxes have remained unpaid or have accrued as of December 31, 2017. Exceptions to the Coverage: the Estate Tax Amnesty shall not extend to cases which shall have become final and executory and to properties involved in cases pending in appropriate courts: i. Falling under the jurisdiction of the Presidential Commission on Good Government; ii. Involved in unexplained or unlawfully acquired wealth under RA No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and RA No. 7080 or the Plunder Act; iii. Involving violations of RA No. 9160, or the Anti-Money Laundering Act, as amended; iv. Involving tax evasion and criminal offenses under the Tax Code, as amended; and v. Involving felonies of frauds, illegal exactions and transactions, and malversation of public funds and property under the Revised Penal Code. Tax Base: i. Total net estate at the time of death, or the gross estate less all allowable deductions as provided in the Tax Code, as amended, or the applicable estate tax laws prevailing at the time of death of the decedent; ii. If an estate tax return was previously filed, the estate tax shall be based on net undeclared estate. Tax Rate: 6% Tax Due: shall be 6% of the Net Estate as determined above. However, if allowable deductions applicable at the time of death of the decedent exceed the value of the gross estate, the heirs, executors, or administrators may avail of the benefits under the Tax Amnesty Act and pay the minimum estate amnesty tax of P5,000. Who will avail: i. The executor or administrator of the estate, or ii. if there is no executor or administrator appointed, the legal heirs, transferees or beneficiaries Period of availment: 2 years from the effectivity of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Tax Amnesty Act. Where to File: the sworn Estate Tax Amnesty Return shall be filed with the RDO of the BIR which has jurisdiction over the last residence of the decedent. For non-residents, the return shall be filed and the tax paid at RDO No. 39, or any other RDO which shall be indicated in the IRR. Time of payment: at the time of the filing of the return. Previous transfers of property: the Tax Amnesty Act originally provided that if the estate involved properties which are still in the name of another decedent or donor, the present holder, heirs, executors or administrators shall file only 1 Estate Tax Amnesty Return and pay the corresponding taxes thereon based on the total net estate at the time of death of the LAST decedent covering all accrued taxes under the Tax Code, arising from the transfer of such estate from all prior decedents or donors through which the property/ies comprising the estate shall pass. The President, however, vetoed such provision, the message providing that the tax is imposed not because of the property itself but on the privilege of transferring property to the heirs. As the message provides, the flat rate of 6% estate amnesty tax, without penalties, imposed at EVERY STAGE OF TRANSFER is more than a fair imposition on the privilege. No admission of liability: the availment of the Estate Tax Amnesty and the issuance of the corresponding Acceptance Payment Form do not imply admission of criminal, civil or administrative liability on the part of the availing estate. NO Presumption of Correctness of the Estate Tax Amnesty Returns: the TAA originally provides that the Estate Tax Amnesty Returns shall be conclusively presumed as true, correct and final upon filing and shall be deemed complete upon full payment of the amount due. However, the President vetoed this provision stating that beyond the transfer of property, rights and obligations to the heirs, legatees, and devisees, the valuation of the subject properties is a technical aspect that cannot be left to mere self-declaration and that there must be an opportunity for implementing agencies to evaluate the truthfulness of the declarations made by the taxpayers. Duties of the BIR: the RDO shall issue an acceptance form for the Authorized Agent Bank or the revenue collection agent or municipal treasurer concerned, to accept the tax amnesty payment. After payment, a Certificate of Availment of the Estate Tax Amnesty shall be issued by the BIR within 15 calendar days from submission to the BIR of the Acceptance Payment Form and the Estate Tax Amnesty Return. Otherwise, the duplicate copies of the Acceptance Payment Form and the Estate Tax Amnesty Return shall be deemed sufficient proof of availment. Immunities and Privileges: Estates covered by the Estate Tax Amnesty, which have fully complied with the conditions set forth above, including the payment of the estate amnesty tax shall be immune from the payment of all estate taxes for taxable year 2017 and prior years, and from all appurtenant civil, criminal and administrative cases and penalties under the Tax Code, as amended. Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies a. Coverage: all national internal revenue taxes collected by the BIR, including VAT and excise taxes collected by the Bureau of Customs. Delinquencies covered and Applicable Rates: A Delinquency Covered Delinquencies and assessments, which have become final and executory, including delinquent tax account, where the application for compromise has been requested but was denied by the Regional Applicable Rate 40% of the basic tax assessed B C D Evaluation Board or the National Evaluation Board, as the case may be, on or before the IRR takes effect. Pending criminal cases with the DOJ or the courts for tax evasion and other criminal offenses under the Tax Code, as amended, with or without assessments issued. Tax cases subject of final and executory judgment by the courts on or before the IRR takes effect. Withholding tax agents who withheld taxes but failed to remit the same to the BIR 60% of the basic tax assessed 50% of the basic tax assessed 100% of the basic tax assessed Delinquent Account: pertains to a tax due from a taxpayer arising from the audit of the BIR which had been issued Assessment Notices that have become final and executory due to the following instances: i. Failure to file a valid Protest, whether a request for reconsideration or reinvestigation, within 30 days from receipt thereof. ii. Failure to file an appeal with the CTA or an administrative appeal before the CIR within 30 days from receipt of the decision denying the request for reinvestigation or reconsideration; or iii. Failure to file an appeal with the CTA within 30 days from receipt of the decision of the CIR denying the taxpayer’s administrative appeal to the FDDA. Basic Tax Assessed: refers to: i. ii. iii. Tax due shown on the Assessment Notice, net of any basic tax paid prior to the effectivity of RR No. 4-2019, exclusive of civil penalties; The computed basic tax liabilities as shown in the criminal complaint filed by the BIR with the DOJ/Prosecutor’s Office or int eh information filed in the Courts for violations of tax laws and regulations; and The basic tax liabilities as per Court’s final and executory decision. Deficiency Withholding Taxes in assessments or tax cases: the tax rate shall still be 100% under letter D above, even in cases of non-remittance of withholding taxes falling under letters A, B and C above. With Pending Compromise Settlement Application under letter A above: if the delinquent tax is subject of an application for compromise settlement, whether denied or pending, the amount of payment shall be based on the NET basic tax as certified by the concerned office. ILLUSTRATION: B Company received a Final Assessment Notice with a P1,000,000 basic tax deficiency. It applied for compromise and paid P400,000 as the minimum amount required. If B Company applied for Tax Amnesty, how much would it pay? Basic Tax per FAN Basic Tax paid per Compromise Settlement Application Net Basic Tax prior to the effectivity of the Regulation Amnesty Rate Amnesty Tax to be paid P1,000,000 (400,000) 600,000 40% P240,000 Partial/Installment Payments: the amount of payment shall be based on the NET amount as certified by the concerned office. b. c. d. e. When and Where to File: Any person, natural or juridical, who wishes to avail of the Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies shall, within one year from the effectivity of the IRR file with the appropriate office of the BIR, which has jurisdiction over the residence or principal place of business of the taxpayer, a sworn Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies Return accompanied by a Certification of Delinquency. The payment of the amnesty tax shall be made at the time of the filing of the Return. Similar to the Estate Tax Amnesty, the RDO shall issue and endorse an Acceptance Payment Form authorizing the authorized agent bank, or in the absence thereof, the revenue collection agent or municipal treasurer concerned, to accept the amnesty tax payment. No admission of liability: the availment of the Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies and the issuance of the corresponding Acceptance Payment Form do not imply admission of criminal, civil or administrative liability on the part of the availing taxpayer. Immunities and Privileges: The tax delinquency of those who avail of the Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies and have fully complied with all the conditions and upon payment of the amnesty tax shall be considered settled and the criminal case under Sec. 18(c) of the Tax Code, as amended, as such relate to the taxpayer’s assets, liabilities, networth and internal revenue taxes that are subject of the tax amnesty, and from such other investigations or suits. Proof of Availment and Compliance; effects thereof: Any notices of levy, attachments and/or warrants of garnishment issued against the taxpayer shall be set aside pursuant to the lifting of notice of levy/garnishment duly issued by the BIR. The Authority to Cancel Assessment shall be issued in favor of the taxpayer within 15 days from submission to the BIR of the Acceptance Payment Form and the Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies Return. Otherwise, the duplicate copies, stamped as received, of the Acceptance Payment Form, and the Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies Return shall be deemed sufficient proof of availment. The Form and the Return shall be submitted to the RDO after complete payment and the completion of these requirements shall be deemed full compliance with the provisions of the TAA. After full compliance with all the conditions and payment of the corresponding tax on delinquency, the tax amnesty granted shall become final and irrevocable. Confidentiality and Non-Use of Information and Data: any information or data contained in, derived from or provided by the taxpayer in the Tax Amnesty Return and appurtenant documents shall be confidential in nature and shall not be used in any investigation or prosecution before any judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative bodies. Documents: Document Tax Amnesty Return Acceptance Payment Form Certificate of Tax Delinquencies/Tax Liabilities BIR Form/Reference BIR Form No. 2118-DA (Annex A of RR No. 4-19) BIR Form No. 0621-DA (Annex B of RR No. 4-19) Annex C of RR No. 4-2019 Offenses and Penalties: Offense Unlawful Divulgence of Information – any officer or employee of the BIR who divulges to any person or makes known in any other manner than may be provided by law, information regarding the business, income, or estate of any taxpayer, the secrets, operations, style of work, or apparatus of any manufacturer or producer, or confidential information regarding the business of any taxpayer, knowledge of which was acquired by him in the discharge of his official duties. Penalty Fine – P50,000 to P100,000; Imprisonment – 2 years to 5 years; Or both Divulgence in any other manner to any person other than the requesting foreign tax authority information obtained from banks and financial institutions, knowledge or information acquired by him in the discharge of his official duties Unlawful Divulgence of Tax Amnesty Return and Appurtenant Documents – any person having knowledge of the Tax Amnesty Return and appurtenant documents who discloses any information relative thereto, and any violation hereof. Fine – P500,000 to P1,000,000; Imprisonment – 2 years to 5 years.; Or both Fine – P150,000; Imprisonment – 6 years to 10 years; Or both If the offender is an officer or employee of the BIR or any government entity Fine – P50,000 to P100,000; Imprisonment – 2 years to 5 years; Or both Plus perpetual disqualification to hold public office CONSTRUCTION AND INTERPRETATION OF TAX LAWS: Tax laws must be construed reasonably to carry out the purpose, intent and the objective of the law. As a rule, if the tax law is clear and free of ambiguity, it will be applied in its literal import. If there is doubt as to its validity or if it is ambiguous, the law will be construed strictly against the Government and liberally in favor of the taxpayer. Tax Exemptions; deductions and refund: in case of ambiguity, the law will be construed strictly against the taxpayer and liberally in favor of the government, except: 1. Where the statute granting exemption expressly provides for a liberal interpretation; 2. Special taxes relating to special cases and affecting only special classes of persons; 3. Property held in private ownership; 4. Traditional exemptees, such as those in favor of religious and charitable institutions; 5. In favor of the government, its political subdivisions or instruments; and 6. By clear legislative intent. Tax exemptions are never presumed. It must be established and proved by the taxpayer; must be limited to what the law says; and personal to the person entitled to the same. II. TAXATION and the other INHERENT POWERS 1. 2. 3. Taxation is the power of the State to demand from the members of society their proportionate share or contribution in the maintenance of the government. Eminent Domain is the power of the State to forcibly acquire private property, upon payment of just compensation, for some intended public use Police Power is the power of the State to regulate liberty and property for the promotion of general welfare SIMILARTITIES: 1. Inherent in the State and need not be conferred by the Constitution; 2. Indispensable in that the State cannot continue or be effective unless it is able to exercise the same; 3. Methods whereby the State interferes with private rights; 4. Presuppose an equivalent compensation, tangible or otherwise, for the private rights interfered with; and 5. Primarily exercised by the legislature. DIFFERENCES: Raise revenue Taxation Police Power Promote public welfare through regulations Eminent Domain Facilitate the taking of private property for public use No limit BUT must be equal to the needs of the government Limited to the cost of regulation and issuance of license or surveillance fees No specific amount BUT just compensation must be paid to the owner which is equivalent to the market value of the property No direct benefit; only general benefit of protection No direct benefit; only a healthy economic standard of society Direct benefit in the form of just compensation Non-impairment of Contracts Contracts may NOT be impaired Contracts MAY be impaired Contracts MAY be impaired Transfer of Property Rights Taxes become part of the public funds No transfer but only restraint in its exercise Transfer in favor of the State All persons, property and excises All persons, property and privileges Only upon a particular property Purpose Amount of Exaction Benefits Received Scope Who exercises the power Only by the government and its political subdivisions III. Only by the government and its political subdivisions May be by (1) the government or its political subdivisions OR (2) public service companies or public utilities granted with such power. TAXES TAXES: are enforced proportional contributions from the persons and property levied by the law-making body of the State by virtue of its sovereignty in support of government and for public needs. ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TAX 1. Imposed by the State which has jurisdiction over the person, property or excises (activity); 2. Levied by the Legislature; 3. It is an enforced contribution; 4. Generally payable in money; 5. Proportionate in character – based on the taxpayer’s ability to pay; 6. Levied on persons, property or excises; 7. Levied for public purpose; 8. Paid at regular periods of intervals; 9. Personal to the taxpayer. CLASSIFICATOIN OF TAXES 1. As to purposes: a. General/Fiscal or Revenue – purpose is to raise revenue for the government’s ordinary needs; b. Special/Regulatory or Sumptuary – purpose is some social or economic ends irrespective of whether revenue is actually raised. 2. As to subject matter: a. Personal, poll or capitation – those imposed upon residents of a territory, regardless of citizenship, property, occupation, business. b. Property – those imposed upon real and personal property depending on their value. c. Excise or privilege – those imposed upon the performance of an act, enjoyment of a privilege, or engaging in an occupation, profession or business. 3. As to incidence: a. Direct – where the burden for the payment of the tax as well as the impact falls on the same person; as such, the person who pays is the person who is statutory liable to pay the tax (e.g., income tax); b. Indirect – where the incidence falls on one person but the burden falls another. (e.g., VAT). 4. As to amount: a. Specific – amounts fixed and is imposed by the head or number or some measurement, hence, no valuation is needed except for the list of things to be taxed. b. Ad valorem – one which is based on the value of the object to be taxed. 5. As to rate/progression: a. Progressive – tax rates increase as the tax base or bracket increases. b. Regressive – tax rate decreases as tax base or bracket increases. c. Proportionate – tax is based on a fixed percentage of the amount of the property, receipts or other bases to be taxed. 6. As to authority imposing the tax: a. National – levied by the national government and enforced by the BIR; b. Local – levied by the local government through its sanggunian and enforced by the treasurer. TAX VS. LICENSE FEES Basis Purpose Limitation on Amount Tax Taxation power Revenue Subject only to inherent and constitutional limitations License Fee Police power Regulation Limited to the cost of issuance of license and cost of inspection and surveillance When paid After the start of business Before the start of business Surrender vis-a-vis necessity of consideration Cannot be surrendered except for lawful consideration Lawful consideration not necessary Effect of non-payment Will not render the business illegal BUT criminal prosecution will result Will render the business illegal IMPORTANCE OF DISTINCTION: 1. Government instrumentality concerned may not be authorized to exact taxes but IS authorized to exact license fees 2. Person imposed upon may be exempt from taxes BUT NOT exempt from license fees 3. Tax, NOT fees, may be claimed as income tax deduction for income tax purpose. However, fees may be considered as expenses ordinary and necessary for business. 4. In Local Government Taxation, Sec. 187 of the Local Government Code covers only “tax” ordinance. Such that, if the ordinance is regulatory, it does not come within the purview of Sec. 187 and the CTA does not have jurisdiction over the legality of the same, jurisdiction thereof being under the RTC. TAX VS. TOLL Definition Purpose Tax Demand of sovereignty for raising revenue For support of the government Toll Amount charged for the cost and maintenance of property used As compensation for use of another's property Determination of Amount Who may impose Determined by the sovereign Imposed by the State Determined by the cost of the property or improvement Imposed by the government or private individual TAX VS. PENALTY Tax Enforced proportional contributions from persons and property For revenue Imposed only by the government Penalty Sanction imposed for violation of laws Tax Demand of sovereignty for raising revenue Special Assessment Special levy on lands comprised within the territorial jurisdiction of a Province, City or Municipality specially benefitted by public works, projects, improvements funded by the LGU concerned Imposed on land only Liability Basis Imposed on lands, persons, property, income, business, etc. Personal Based on necessity (and partially on benefits) Application General Special to a particular time and place Definition Purpose Authority To regulate conduct Imposed either by the government or by private individuals or entities TAX VS. SPECIAL ASSESSMENT Definition Subject Non-personal Based solely on benefits TAX VS. CUSTOMS DUTIES Raising revenue Broader term Tax Custom Duties Controlling the flow of the goods of the country Tariff or tax on the importation (usually) or exportation (unusually) of goods Tax Law Civil and criminal liability Money No No Debt Contract/ judgment Civil liability only (No imprisonment) Money, property or service Yes Yes Interest Yes, if deficient or delinquent. Authority Prescription Public authority Determined by the Tax Code General Rule: no interest, unless expressly stipulated or after demand is made Private individuals Determined by the Civil Code Purpose Broadness TAX VS. DEBT Basis Effect of failure to pay Mode of payment Assignability Subjectivity to Compensation/ Set-off SOURCES OF REVENUE: the following are considered national internal revenue taxes: 1. Income tax; 2. Estate and donor’s taxes; 3. Value-added tax; 4. Other percentage taxes; 5. Excise taxes; 6. Documentary Stamp Taxes; and 7. Such other taxes as are or hereafter may be imposed and collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. IV. INHERENT LIMITATIONS A. IT MUST BE FOR A PUBLIC PURPOSE A revenue measure must be laid for a public purpose determined by the legislature. The proceeds of the tax must be used either for the support of the State or for some recognized objective of government or directly to promote the welfare of the community. The public purpose must exist at the time the law is enacted. (Pascual vs. Secretary of Public Works, GR No. L-10405; Dec. 29, 1960) Tests in determining public purpose: 1. 2. Duty Test – whether the thing to be furthered by the appropriation of public revenue is something which is the duty of the State, as a government. Promotion of General Welfare Test – whether the law providing the tax directly promotes the welfare of the community in equal measure. One sector is not benefited: Public purpose is not destroyed by the fact that the tax law may not be beneficial to one group. The fact that one sector is benefited and in the process another sector is being in a way prejudiced would not diminish the public character of the tax (Tio v. Videogram Regulatory Board, G.R. 75697, June 1987) B. EXEMPTION OF GOVERNMENT ENTITIIES, AGENCIES and INSTRUMENTALITIES As a rule, the government, its agencies and instrumentalities performing governmental function are exempt from VAT. This is because taxes are financial burdens imposed for the purpose of raising revenues to defray the cost of the operation of the Government, and a tax on property of the Government, whether national or local, would merely have the effect of taking money from one pocket to put it in another pocket (Board of Assessment of Appeals of Laguna vs. CTA, G.R. No. L-35683, May 7, 1987). Exceptions: 1. Agencies performing proprietary functions; 2. When the charter creating the agency or instrumentality or the law provides that they are subject to tax. 3. If the government wishes to tax itself. GOCCs: performing proprietary functions are taxable similar to a corporation. However, Sec. 27(c) of the Tax Code provides for the following corporations as exempt: 1. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) 2. Social Security System (SSS) 3. Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) 4. Local Water Districts PAGCOR: is no longer exempt from income tax by its omission from the above list. (PAGCOR vs. BIR, GR No. 12087, March 15, 2011) However, PAGCOR remains exempt from income tax for its income arising from casino operations which are subject to franchise tax in lieu of all taxes. (PAGCOR vs. BIR, GR No. 215427, Dec. 10, 2014) PCSO: was removed under the TRAIN and is thus taxable beginning January 1, 2018. C. THE POWER TO TAX IS INHERENTLY LEGISLATIVE (NON-DELEGABILITY) Taxation is the inherent power of the state and it is exercised primarily by the Legislature as delegates of the people. In accordance with the latin maxim, potestas delegatas non delegare potest, which means, what has been delegated can no longer be delegated, as a rule, only the Congress (to whom the legislative power has been delegated by the people) can exercise this power. Exceptions: 1. 2. Delegation to Local Government – the Constitution, as implemented by the Local Government Code, empowers the local government units (LGU) to create its own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, fees and charges which shall accrue exclusively to the LGU. (Sec. 5, Art. X of the Constitution) Delegation to the President – the Constitution, as implemented by the Tariff and Customs Code, allows the President to fix tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues and other duties or imposts. (Sec. 28, Art. VI of the Constitution) Likewise, the President may exercise emergency powers (Sec. 23, Art. VI of the Constitution) and enter into executive agreements or treaties which may contain tax exemption provisions subject to the concurrence of the Senate. (Sec. 27, Art. VII of the Constitution) 3. Delegation to Administrative Agencies – administrative agencies may issue rules and regulations to implement tax laws, under their quasi-legislative powers, subject to the following tests: a. b. Completeness test – in order for the delegation to be valid, the law must be complete in all aspects when it leaves the legislature. The only thing left for the delegate to do is to implement the law. Sufficiently Determinable Standards test – there must exist sufficient standards which should limit the boundaries of the delegate’s authority by defining legislative policy and the circumstance under which it is to be pursued and implemented. Technically, no. 3 is not really an exception as the powers of the administrative agencies are limited to implementing and/or interpreting the tax laws issued by Congress. D. INTERNATIONAL COMITY The principle of international comity recognizes that States are co-equal sovereigns such that one cannot exercise its inherent sovereign powers over another, including the power to tax. States find it mutually advantageous to create self-imposed restraints on their taxing powers with reference to properties of foreign governments. Moreover, when on state enters the territory of another, there is an implied understanding that the former does not intend to degrade its dignity by placing itself under the jurisdiction of the latter, note that a foreign state cannot be sued without its consent, thus it would be useless to impose or assess a tax which cannot be collected. E. TERRITORIAL IN APPLICATION (SITUS) Tax is territorial in application in the sense that the object and/or subject of the tax must be within the territorial jurisdiction of a State. As such, income earned by non-residents and aliens are not subject to tax in the Philippines unless they are earned herein – here the subject of the tax is the income. On the other hand, resident citizens are subject to income tax for their worldwide income – here the object of the tax is the individual who is subject to the protection of the State. V. A. CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS DUE PROCESS REQUIREMENT Art. III, Sec. 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws. Procedural due process: requires that taxpayers must be notified of the assessment in writing and must state the fact and the law upon which it is based. Moreover, assessments and collection must not be arbitrary. Substantive due process: requires that assessments must not be harsh, oppressive or confiscatory; it must be made under authority of a valid law; and must be imposed within the territorial jurisdiction of the State. Specific Cases: 1. 2. 3. 4. B. There is a denial of due process on account of the passage of an ordinance in the City of Manila which imposes a permit fee of P50.00 on aliens as a condition to employment or engaging in any business or occupation, where it appears that under said ordinance, the City Mayor of Manila could withhold or refuse issuance of such permit at will. Aliens, once admitted in the Philippines, cannot be deprived of life without due process of law and this guarantee includes the means of livelihood (Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, G.R. No. L-29646, November 10, 1978) Due process was not violated when the VAT law (EO 273) was promulgated. Petitioners failed to show that EO 273 was issued capriciously and whimsically or in arbitrary or despotic manner by passion or personal hostility since it appears that a comprehensive study of the VAT was made before EO 273 was issued (Kapatiran vs. CIR, G.R. No. L-81311, June 30, 1988). The modified schedular income tax whereby individual income was classified into three different classes under different tax rates (compensation, business/other income and passive investment income) is not a denial of due process because there is no proof of arbitrariness in the imposition of tax rates (Sison vs. Ancheta, G.R. No. 59431, July 25, 1984). Section 112 (B) allows a VAT registered person to apply for the issuance of a tax credit certificate or refund for any unused input taxes, to the extent that such input taxes have not been applied against output taxes. The input tax is not a property or property right within the constitutional purview of the due process clause. A VAT-registered person’s entitlement to the creditable input tax is merely a statutory privilege (Abakada Guro Party List vs. Ermita, Ibid.). EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS Art. III, Sec. 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws. The requirement of equal protection of the laws requires that the law must apply equally to all persons within the same class. As such, providing for a classification and applying the law only to a particular class is not violative of the constitutional right so long as it comes from a valid classification. Requisites for a valid classification: 1. 2. 3. 4. Must Must Must Must be based upon substantial distinctions; be germane to the purpose of law; apply to both present and future conditions; and apply equally to all members of a class. Two ways by which equal protection clause is violated: 1. 2. When classification is made when there should be none When classification is not made when called for Specific Cases: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. C. If the ordinance is intended to apply to a specific taxpayer and to no one else regardless of whether or not other entities belonging to the same class are established in the future, it is a violation of the equal protection clause, but if intended to apply also to similar entities which may be established in the future, then the tax ordinance is valid (Ormoc Sugar Central vs. CIR, G.R. No. L-23794, February 17, 1968) The fact that the taxpayer is the only sugar central or refinery in the municipality where the tax ordinance is enacted does not make said ordinance discriminatory. The reason is that since other refineries to be established in the future would also be taxable, no singling out of the taxpayer to its disadvantage has ever taken place (Victorias Milling Co., Inc. vs. Municipality of Victoria, G.R. No. L-21183, September 27, 1968) The remission of taxes due and payable to the exclusion of taxes already collected does not constitute unfair discrimination. Each set of taxes is a class by itself, and the law would be open to attack as class legislation only if all taxpayers belonging to one class were not treated alike (Juan Luna Subd. Vs. Sarmiento, G.R. No. L-3538, May 28, 1952) A local ordinance which levies an ad valorem tax on motor vehicles registered in Manila without also taxing those which are registered outside the city but which enters the city and use its streets occasionally violates the rule on the equality of taxation (Assoc. of Customs Brokers vs. Municipality Board of Manila, G.R. No. L-4375, May 22, 1953). With regard to the 5% creditable withholding tax imposed on payments made by the government for taxable transactions, Section 114 par. C merely provides a method of collection, or as stated by respondents, a more simplified VAT withholding system. Since it has not been shown that the class subject to the 5% final withholding tax has been unreasonably narrowed, there is no reason to invalidate the provision. Petitioners, as petroleum dealers, are not the only ones subjected to the 5% final withholding tax. It applies to all those who deal with the government (Abakada Guro Party List vs. Ermita, Ibid.). UNIFORMITY AND PRGRESSIVITY OF TAXATION Art. VI, Sec. 28 (1) The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive system of taxation. UNIFORMITY means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same classes shall be taxed at the same rate. A tax is uniform when it operates with the same force and effect in every place where the subject of it is found. (Commissioner vs. Lingayen Gulf Elec. Co., G.R. No. L-23771, August 4, 1988) Amusement Tax: Uniformity is not disregarded if a tax is levied on admission to cinema, theaters, vaudeville companies, theatrical shows and boxing exhibitions but does not tax other places of amusement such as race tracks, cockpits, cabarets, concert halls, circuses and other places of amusement. (Eastern Theatrical Co. vs. Alfonso, G.R. No. L-1104, May 31, 1949) Uniformity vs. Equitability vs. Equality • • • Uniformity – All taxable property shall be alike to be subjected to tax Equitability – The burden of taxation falls to those better able to pay. Equality – When the burden of the tax falls equally and impartially upon all persons and property subject to it. PROGRESSIVITY means that the tax rate increases as the tax base thereof increases. Our income tax system is one good example of such progressivity because it is built on the principle of the taxpayer’s ability to pay. Taxation is progressive when its rate goes up depending on the resources of the person affected (Reyes vs. Almanzor, G.R. Nos. 49839-46, April 26, 1991) D. NO IMPRISONMENT FOR PAYMENT OF POLL TAX Art. III, Sec. 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax. Poll Tax is a tax on individuals residing within a specified territory, whether citizens or not, without regard to their property or the occupation in which they may be engaged. E. EXEMPTION FROM PROPERTY TAX OF REGILIOUS, CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS Art. VI, Section 28. (3) Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation. Property Tax: The tax exemption under this constitutional provision covers property taxes only. As Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., then a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, explained: ". . . what is exempted is not the institution itself . . .; those exempted from real estate taxes are lands, buildings and improvements actually, directly and exclusively used for religious, charitable or educational purposes." (Lung Center of the Philippines vs. Quezon City, GR No. 144104, June 29, 2004) Estate and donor’s tax are excise taxes on the privilege to transfer property gratuitously. Accordingly, the above exemption does not cover estate and donor’s tax unless specifically provided under the Tax Code. (see Sections 101(A)(3) and 101(B)(2) of the Tax Code) “Exclusive”: is defined as possessed and enjoyed to the exclusion of others; debarred from participation or enjoyment; and “exclusively” is defined, “in a manner to exclude; as enjoying a privilege exclusively.” If real property is used for one or more commercial purposes, it is not exclusively used for the exempted purposes but is subject to taxation. The words “dominant use” or “principal use” cannot be substituted for the words “used exclusively” without doing violence to the Constitution and the law (Lung Center of the Phil. vs. Quezon City, G.R. No. 144104, June 29, 2004). Actual and Direct Use is necessary: To be exempt from tax, the lands, buildings and improvements must not only be exclusively but also actually and directly used for religious and charitable purposes (Province of Abra vs. Hernando, G.R. No. L-49336, August 31, 1981) Thus, even if a property is owned by a religious, educational or charitable institution, if it is rented out and used for activities other than the main purpose of the institutions, it will be subject to tax and not covered by the exemption. Note that in Real Property Taxation, the actual use is determinative of assessment and taxability NOT OWNERSHIP. Incidental Use: the exemption likewise covers activities which are incidental to the main activity. As such, canteens owned and operated by the school, as well as libraries are covered by the exemption extended to schools. If the use is not incidental, exemption does not apply: While the use of the second floor of the main building for residential purposes of the Director and his family may find justification under the concept of incidental use, which is complimentary to the main or primary purpose, i.e., educational, the lease of the first floor to the Northern Marketing Corporation cannot be considered incidental to the purpose of education. Since only a portion is used for the purpose of commerce, it is only fair that half of the assessed tax be returned to the school involved (Abra Valley vs. Aquino, G.R. No. L-39086, June 15, 1988). Only the portion used for commercial purpose are subject to the tax: While portions of the hospital are used for the treatment of patients and the dispensation of medical services to them, whether paying or non-paying, other portions thereof are being leased to private individuals for their clinics and a canteen. Accordingly, we hold that the portions of the land leased to private entities as well as those parts of the hospital leased to private individuals are not exempt from such taxes. On the other hand, the portions of the land occupied by the hospital and portions of the hospital used for its patients, whether paying or non-paying, are exempt from real property taxes. (Lung Center of the Phil. vs. Quezon City, G.R. No. 144104, June 29, 2004). Receipt of Donation: The institution does not lose its character as a charitable institution simply because the gift or donation is in the form of subsidies granted by the government. F. EXEMPTION OF NON-STOCK, NON-PROFIT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS Art. XIV, Sec. 4(3): All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit educational institutions used actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from taxes and duties. Upon the dissolution or cessation of the corporate existence of such institutions, their assets shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law. Proprietary educational institutions, including those cooperatively owned, may likewise be entitled to such exemptions subject to the limitations provided by law including restrictions on dividends and provisions for reinvestment. Coverage: the above exemption does not only cover property tax but also income tax unlike the exemption of religious and educational institutions provided under (E) above which covers only property taxes. The tax exemption granted is conditioned only on the actual, direct and exclusive USE of their revenues and assets for educational purposes. Revenues: the exemption extends to the non-stock, non-profit educational institution on all revenues that is USED for educational purposes, regardless of its source. Assets: the property, to be considered exempt from real property tax, the test is USE also, not ownership. Thus, if the institution earns rental income from a commercial entity but uses such rental for educational purposes, it is exempt from income tax, local business tax, and/or VAT, but NOT real property tax. Limitation under Section 30 of the Tax Code: the last paragraph of Sec. 30 (Exempt Entities) under the Tax Code provides that “income from whatever kind and character of the foregoing corporations from any of their properties, real or personal, or from any of their activities conducted for profit regardless of the disposition made of such income, shall be subject to tax”. While Sec. 30 covers non-stock, non-profit educational institutions, the above limitation on exemption does not apply to it. Thus, even if it derives income from activities conducted for profit, the income remains exempt as long as it is actually, directly and exclusively used for educational purposes. (Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. De La Salle University, Inc., GR No. 196596, November 9, 2016) Proprietary educational institutions: are subject to 10% income tax on their taxable income under Sec. 27(B) of the Tax Code. The same provision provides that if income from unrelated trade, business or other activity exceeds 50% of the total gross income, the tax shall be the 30% Regular Corporate Income Tax. G. GRANT OF EXEMPTION REQUIRES THE MAJORITY VOTE OF CONGRESS Art. VI, Sec. 28(4): No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress. Rationale: in order to prevent the indiscriminate grant of tax exemptions. H. PROHIBITION ON TAX LEVIED FOR SPECIAL PURPOSE Art. VI, Sec. 29(3): All money collected or any tax levied for special purposes shall be treated as special fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund was created has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance, if any, shall be transferred to the general funds of the government. I. VETO POWER OF THE PRESIDENT Art. VI, Sec. 27(2): The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue or tariff bill but the veto shall not affect the item or items which he does not object. J. REVENUE OR TARIFF BILL MUST EXCLUSIVELY ORIGINATE FROM THE LOWER HOUSE Art. VI, Sec. 24: All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing the increase of public debts, bills of local application and private bills, shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments. K. LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S POWER TO TAX Art. X, Sec. 5: Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees and charges subject to such guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local governments. L. NO APPROPRIATION FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES Art. VI, Sec. 29(2): No public money or property shall be appropriated applied, paid or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, other religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium. M. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Art. III, Sec. 5: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. Sale of Bibles at cost or at a low premium: The Constitutional guaranty of the free exercise of religion carries with it the right to disseminate religious information. Any restraint on such right can only be justified on the ground that there is a clear and present danger of any substantive evil which the State has the right to prevent. Activities simply and purely for propagation of faith are exempt (i.e., sale of bibles and religious articles by non-stock, non-profit organizations at minimal profit). A license tax, which, unlike an ordinary tax, is mainly for regulation. Its imposition on the press is unconstitutional because it lays a prior restraint on the exercise of its right. Hence, although its application to others is valid, its application to the press or to religious groups, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in connection with the latter’s sale of religious books and pamphlets, is unconstitutional (American Bible Society v. City of Manila, G.R. L-9637, April 1957) N. NON-IMPAIRMENT OF CONTRACTS Art. III, Sec. 10: No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. Revocability of Tax Exemption: A law which changes the terms of the contract by making new conditions, or changing those in the contract, or dispenses with those expressed, impairs the obligation. However, the non-impairment rule does not apply to public utility franchises since a franchise is subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by the Congress when the public interest so requires (Article XII, Section 11). This is so because under the Constitution [now Section 11, Article XII, 1987 Constitution], the legislature can impair a grantee’s franchise since a franchise is subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by the Congress when the public interest so requires. (Cagayan Electric Power & Light Co., Inc. vs. CIR, G.R. No. L-60126, September 25, 1985) Rules applicable to revocation: a. b. c. When the exemption is unilaterally granted by law and the same is withdrawn by virtue of another law, there is no violation. When the exemption is bilaterally agreed upon between the government and the taxpayer, it cannot be withdrawn without impairing the contract. When the exemption is granted under a franchise, it may be revoked because a franchise is subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by Congress. O. NON-IMPAIRMENT OF THE JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT Art. VIII, Sec. 5: The Supreme Court shall have the power to review, revise, modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in all cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto. Thus, Congress cannot enact a law which makes the decisions of the Court of Tax Appeals final and non-appealable to the Supreme Court. VI. STAGES OF TAXATION 1. LEVY The determination by Congress of the subject and object of taxation as well as the rate (Domondon, 9th ed, p. 29). It refers to the enactment of tax laws or statutes (Dimaampao, 2011 ed, p. 14). Note: This is NOT the “Levy” under Sec. 207 of NIRC, which refers to the remedy of the Government to collect taxes. 2. ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION Assessment is a notice to the effect that the amount therein stated is due as tax and a demand for payment thereof. Rules governing assessment and collection of taxes to prevent its abuse 1. The tax law must designate which agency will collect the taxes 2. The circulars or regulations issued by the Secretary of Finance or the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue must be in accordance with the tax measures imposed by Congress Collection is the final stage and goal of tax administration. 3. PAYMENT The act of compliance by the taxpayer, including such options, schemes or remedies as may be legally open or available to him. 4. REFUND The taxpayer asks for restitution of the money paid as tax which is either excessive or erroneous.