CTA orders BIR to refund VMC Multi-Purpose Farmers Coop P9.5M
The Court of Tax Appeals en banc ruled in favor of Victorias Milling Company Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative against the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
In a decision dated March 3, 2016, the CTA en banc rejected the BIR’s petition to review the decision of the CTA’s second division that said VMC Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative is entitled to a P9.5-million refund for the value added tax it paid the BIR in protest in 2012.
VMC Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative was being denied by the BIR’s region 12 director a certificate authorizing release of refined sugars from May 31, 2011 to April 16, 2012 because it had no new certificate of tax exemption. When it finally got a new certificate of tax exemption from the BIR on November 16, 2011 as a cooperative transacting with members only. The BIR refused to issue it a certificate authorizing release of refined sugars without paying an advance value added tax.
VMC Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative paid the P9.5 million VAT on 93,503 50-kilogram bags of refined sugar under protest and filed a claim for a refund because it is VAT exempt. The farmers filed an instant petition for review before the CTA within the time required in the tax code.
VMC Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative presented the certificate of registration issued to it by the CDA, the CDA’s certification that it is of good standing, and its certificate of tax exemption.
“The foregoing evidence created the presumption that, in the issuance of the same, official duty has been regularly performed and that the law has been obeyed. Therefore, respondent [VMC Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative] is deemed a tax exempt cooperative, e.g. not liable for VAT, with a Certificate of Tax Exemption that is unrevoked and valid,” the decision said.
“Being disputable presumptions, these can be controverted by evidence to the contrary. Nonetheless, instead of offering documents to negate the same, petitioner [the BIR Commissioner] chose to waive her right to present evidence, leading to her failure to refute the presumption created by the presentation of the said exhibits.”
The decision was penned by Associate Justice Lovell Bautista, with the eight other Associate Justices concurring. (Eileen A. Mencias)