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THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) denied for lack of merit the appeal of the Department of Energy (DoE) over the dismissal of its petition to suspend the collection of its P18.4 billion alleged tax deficiency.

In a four-page resolution dated Jan. 30, the court’s second division affirmed that it does not have jurisdiction over the case between the DoE and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

The court noted that under Presidential Decree No. 242 disputes and claims between government agencies and offices — including government owned or controlled corporations shall be settled by the secretary of justice, the solicitor general, or the Government Corporate Counsel depending on the issues and government agencies involved.

“It is plain that the instant case between petitioner, a department of the executive branch of the government and the CIR who is the head of BIR, a government agency, is purely an intra- governmental dispute and claims shall be settled or adjudicated in accordance with PD No. 242. Accordingly, the Court is bereft of jurisdiction to take cognizance of the present case,” the resolution read.

“Thus, the Court finds no cogent reasons to reverse or modify the ruling in the assailed Resolution,” it added.

In its motion for reconsideration the DoE said that Section 7 of Republic Act No. 1125 regarding the jurisdiction of the CTA, disputes and claims among government offices remain in the jurisdiction of the CTA.

Section 7 of the law said the CTA has jurisdiction over decisions of BIR on assessments, refunds, among others. It also settles decisions of the Bureau of Customs over liabilities on custom duties, fees, and matters under Customs law.

It also has jurisdiction over decisions of provincial or city Board of Assessment Appeals in cases in real property or matters under Assessment Law.

The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Juanito C. Castañeda, Jr. and concurred in by Associate Justices Cielito N. Mindaro-Grulla and Jean Marie A. Bacorro-Villena.

The court in November last year, in a resolution, dismissed for lack of jurisdiction the petition for review, with urgent motion for suspension of collection of taxes, which assails the Warrants of Distraint and/or Levy and Garnishment issued by the BIR for the collection of alleged deficiency taxes of P18.4 billion over the “removal and export condensates out of Service Contract No. 38.”

In upholding the settlement under PD 242, the court cited a previous Supreme Court decisions. — Vann Marlo Villegas