CTA affirms conviction of electrical business owner for failure to pay P3.5M tax

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has upheld the conviction of an electrical works business owner for failure to pay P3.49 million in income tax and value-added tax (VAT) for the year 2010.

In a recent 19-page en banc decision, the court, voting 7-2, denied Benedicto Caguimbal’s appeal against his conviction for two counts of violation of Section 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

The court sustained the Special 3rd Division’s September 26, 2018 decision sentencing Caguimbal to two years in prison.

It also affirmed the same division’s February 18, 2019 amended decision that ordered him to pay P16.37 million, inclusive of 25% surcharge, 20% deficiency interest and 20% delinquency interest, computed until December 31, 2017.

From January 1, 2018 onwards, he would have to pay an additional 12% delinquency interest computed from the amount of P6.55 million.

The CTA en banc said Caguimbal should have filed first a motion for reconsideration (MR) of the February 18, 2019 amended decision before the Special 3rd Division, before elevating the case.

As for the merits, the en banc agreed with the division’s finding that Caguimbal could still be prosecuted despite his argument that the revenue officers who conducted an examination of his books were not authorized.

It adopted the division’s finding that Caguimbal failed to disprove the mailing and the receipt of the assessment notices. It noted that it was his duty to inform the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) of his true address.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Juanito Castañeda, Jr. Presiding Justice Roman del Rosario and Associate Justice Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro dissented.

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