CTA acquits businesswoman of tax evasion due to schizophrenia, but still makes her pay P19M

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has acquitted a Pangasinan trader of tax evasion arising from her failure to file her income tax return for the years 2009 and 2010, as she developed schizophrenia after Typhoon Pepeng destroyed her business.

Although Teresa Sison, sole proprietor of T.S. Commercial, would not be punished for the crime, the CTA 2nd Division said she would still have to pay P18.65 million in income taxes and penalties.

In a 27-page decision, the court said Sison’s acts were not willful because her mental condition “constituted absolute deprivation of reason, intelligence and discernment.”

Citing the testimony of Dr. Wilson Tibayan, the court found that Sison had gone insane, had no lucid intervals, and could no longer tell if things happening around her were real or not.

On the other hand, the prosecution failed to present evidence that Sison was “not completely deprived of intelligence or consciousness.”

Yet, Sison’s lawyers did not contest the allegation that she failed to pay her taxes, only proving that it was not intentional.

“In other words, accused admitted the existence of the tax liability and her obligation to pay it… The Government still has the right to collect and be paid the remaining unpaid deficiency Income tax,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Cielito Mindaro-Grulla.

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