THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has affirmed a February 2020 decision partially granting a tax credit certificate to Ayala Corp. worth P44.7 million over its excess creditable withholding tax for 2014.

In a 19-page decision on May 18, the CTA full court denied the company’s petition for review to issue a new decision granting a tax credit certificate in the total amount of P62.4 million.

The company argued that it presented sufficient evidence to substantiate the previously disallowed P17.3 million of excess creditable withholding tax for 2014. It added that the revenue chief did not question or raise any objections to the company witness’ testimonies.

The commissioner of internal revenue (CIR) claimed that Ayala Corp.’s evidence was not clear and convincing enough to justify its claim for refund.

The tribunal ruled that Ayala Corp. did not file a motion for reconsideration or a new trial, which voids the CTA en banc’s jurisdiction over the case.

The tax court also junked the CIR petition to deny the company’s claim for a tax credit certificate for the same non-filing.

According to a copy of the ruling written by CTA Associate Justice Maria Belen M. Ringpis-Liban, since Ayala Corp. and the CIR failed to comply with the procedural requirement, “the court en banc cannot validly acquire jurisdiction over their appeals.”

”Accordingly, the assailed amended decision has already attained finality and can no longer be questioned by the parties,” the ruling read. “Undoubtedly, therefore, the assailed amended decision is a ‘new or different’ decision, which was based on the Second Division’s reevaluation of the parties’ allegations and existing evidence that were not considered in the original assailed decision.” 

The tax court said that the court could not rule over the case because it did not attain jurisdiction from the required appeals from the parties.

In a separate dissenting opinion, CTA Associate Justice Roman G. Del Rosario said that mandatory filing of a motion for reconsideration is required only when the amended decision resolves an entirely new issue.

“The assailed amended decision in the present case resolved the very same issue of [the company’s] entitlement to its refund claim,” he said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez