The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a Court of Tax Appeals’ (CTA) 2015 decision that ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to refund to Philex Mining Corporation (Philex) P18.6 million in unutilized and excess input Value-Added Tax (VAT) due to zero-rated sales for the fourth quarter of 2009.

In a decision written by Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando, the SC said the CTA’s second division “commissioned an Independent Certified Public Accountant (ICPA) who found, after examining Philex’s voluminous documents, that its claim for refund was well-founded.”

The CTA, en banc (full court), “likewise saw no reason to deviate from the findings of the ICPA and the CTA Second Division in partially granting Philex’s refund ‘as the same is supported by pieces of evidence, which prove [Philex’s] compliance with the requirements for refund of its claimed input tax….’”

Also, the SC said that it “agrees with the tax tribunal that the submission of the subsidiary sales journal and subsidiary purchase journal is not indispensable to support Philex’s claim for refund.”

On Jan. 21, 2010, Philex filed its quarterly VAT return for the fourth quarter of 2009. On Sept. 13, 2011, it filed an amended return for its total zero-rated sales of P2.6 billion, importation of goods of P93.01 million with input tax of P11.1 million, and purchases of services of P132.9 million with input tax of P15.9 million.

On Sept. 28, 2011, Philex filed its claim for refund/tax credit amounting to P27.1 million with the One Stop Center of the Department of Finance.

When the BIR failed to act on its administrative claim for refund/tax credit, Philex filed a case with the CTA which granted partially its claim for refund.

The CTA en banc ruled that Philex’s appeal was seasonably filed, the firm was entitled to refund, the refund sought was supported by financial invoices, and the presentation of sales journal and subsidiary purchase journal was not required for refund of input tax attributable to zero-rated sales.

Resolving the BIR’s petition, the SC said: “We find no reversible error in the assailed Decision of the CTA En Banc. The denial of the Petition of the CIR (Commissioner of Internal Revenue) is thus warranted.”

“WHEREFORE, the Petition for Review is DENIED for lack of merit. The Jan. 7, 2015 Decision and the May 11, 2015 Resolution of the Court of Tax Appeals En Banc in CTA EB Case No. 1116, which affirmed the Nov. 12, 2013 Decision of the CTA Second Division in CTA Case No. 8424, are AFFIRMED,” the SC ruled.

The SC decision was made public late last May 26.