THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has denied the appeal of Ortiz Memorial Chapel, Inc. to set aside the tax assessment issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which found the company liable for deficiency taxes amounting to P6.9 million for the taxable year 2011.

In a 19-page resolution released on March 10, the tax court’s second division ruled that the petition filed was “premature” and that it had no jurisdiction over the case.

It added that the company did not state the nature of the protest, whether it was appealing for reconsideration or investigation, and did not state the date of the tax assessment.

“When a taxpayer files a petition for review before the Court of Tax Appeals without validly contesting the assessment with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the petition is premature and the Court of Tax of Appeals has no jurisdiction,” the appellate court said, citing jurisprudence promulgated last year.

The court reiterated that the protest must not only be filed within the prescribed 30-day time period but should also “in such form and manner as may be prescribed by implementing rules and regulations.”

The petitioner is a domestic company based in Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, primarily engaged in the general business of funeral services.

The company argued that it was not liable for the deficiency income assessment because it was never final, executory, and demandable.

On the other hand, the BIR commissioner claimed that the court had no jurisdiction over the petition and that the necessary procedural requirements were duly complied with.

“In order for the court or an adjudicative body to have authority to dispose of the case on the merits, it must acquire, among others, jurisdiction over the subject matter,” the court said. “Thus, when a court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter, the only power it has is to dismiss the actions.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez