THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has denied the appeal of Service Resources, Inc. to cancel its deficiency income taxes worth P9.5 million for taxable years 2009, 2010, and 2011.

In a decision on June 3 and made public on June 7, the CTA Second Division ruled the manpower firm failed to comply with the 30-day prescribed period of filing assessment disputes provided by the Local Government Code of 1991.

“In sum, considering the petitioner failed to file a timely appeal with the court of competent jurisdiction within 30 days from the lapse of the respondent city treasurer to decide the protest, the first notice of assessment became conclusive and unappealable,” according to copy of the ruling penned by CTA Associate Justice Jean Marie A. Bacorro-Villena.

“Considering that the first notice already attained finality, the court finds no need to tackle the other arguments raised by the petitioner (Service Resources).”

The petitioner is an independent contractor registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), with its office based in Pasig City.

The respondent is the Pasig City treasurer, who issued a deficiency tax assessment to the company for under-declaring its gross sales for the years 2008 to 2010.

Under the Local Government Code, a taxpayer has 30-days to appeal a denial of protest or a dispute to a court of “competent jurisdiction,” otherwise the assessment will be rendered conclusive and unappealable.

The manpower firm argued the assessments were arbitrarily issued without properly examining its books of accounts and other records. It added that the assessment should have been canceled for the city treasurer’s blatant disregard of guidelines.

The Pasig City treasurer said that the tax assessments were made in good faith and the burden of proof is on the taxpayer to show it is not liable to pay deficiency taxes.

“It is noted that even if we are to consider the propriety of the petitioner’s filing of the prior petition, the outcome of the case would not be different since the petitioner also failed to comply with the provisions of Section 195 of the Local Government Code,” the tax court said.

“Likewise, the petitioner’s posturing appears a mere afterthought following the denial of its prior petition for lack of jurisdiction.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez