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Philippine Airlines, Inc.

vs CIR 700 SCRA 322


For the period July 24-28, 2004, Caltex sold imported Jet A-1 fuel to PAL.
Cose!uetly, o July 2", 2#, 28, ad 2$, 2004, Caltex %led &ith the '() its
*x+ise ,ax )eturs for Petroleum produ+ts.
- Au.ust / 2004 PAL re+ei0ed from Caltex a A0iatio 'illi. (0oi+e for
the pur+hased fuel &here the +orrespodi. *x+ise ,ax &as i+luded.
- -+to1er 2$ 2004 PAL sou.ht a refud of the ex+ise taxes passed o to it
1y Caltex. (t hi.ed its tax refud +laim o its operati. fra+hise P2 13$0,
&hi+h +oferred upo it +ertai tax exemptio pri0ile.es o its pur+hase of
a0iatio .as, fuel, ad oil, i+ludi. those &hi+h are passed o to it 1y the
seller ad4or importer thereof. PAL asserted that it had the le.al persoality
to %le the tax refud +laim.
C()5s ia+tio +aused PAL to %le a Petitio for )e0ie& 1efore the C,A o Jul
23 200".
,he C() asserted that PAL has o le.al persoality to %le the +laim relyi.
o 6il7air 0. C() 344 6C)A 100. PAL +outered that it has le.al persoality
relyi. o 8a+eda 0. 8a+arai., Jr. 22/ 6C)A 21#.
Issues
Does PAL have legal personality to le the su!"ect clai#$
9es. PAL5s fra+hise .rats it a exemptio from 1oth dire+t ad idre+t
taxes o its pur+hase of petroleum produ+ts uder 6e+tio 1/ of P2 13$0.
,he .eeral rule is laid do& i 6e+tio 204:+; of the <()C &hi+h states
that it is the statutory taxpayer &hi+h has the le.al persoality to %le a +laim
for refud. =o&e0er, as pro0ided i PAL5s le.islati0e fra+hise, it has tax
exemptios &hi+h +o0er 1oth dire+t ad idire+t taxes
( Silkair it &as de+lared that
,he proper party to !uestio, or see7 a refud of, a idire+t tax is the
statutory taxpayer, the perso o &hom the tax is imposed 1y la& ad &ho
paid the same e0e if he shifts the 1urde thereof to aother.
=o&e0er, the a1o0emetioed rule should ot apply to ista+es &here
the la& +learly .rats the party to &hi+h the e+oomi+ 1urde of the tax is
shifted a exemptio from 1oth dire+t ad idire+t taxes. ( &hi+h +ase, the
latter must 1e allo&ed to +laim a tax refud e0e if it is ot +osidered as
the statutory taxpayer uder the la&.
Construction o% L&I '()3
L-( 148/ ameded PAL5s fra+hise 1y &ithdra&i. the tax exemptio
pri0ile.e .rated to PAL o its pur+hase of domesti+ petroleum produ+ts for
use i its domesti+ operatios. C() +oteds that the pur+hase of the
a0iatio fuel imported 1y Caltex is a >pur+hase of domesti+ petroleum
produ+ts> 1e+ause the same &as ot pur+hased a1road.
,he Court disa.reed. (t stated that the phrase >pur+hase of domesti+
petroleum produ+ts for use i its domesti+ operatios> refers oly to PAL5s
exemptios o passed o ex+ise tax +osts due from the seller,
maufa+turer4produ+er of lo+ally maufa+tured4produ+ed .oods for domesti+
sale ad does ot, i ay &ay, pertai to ay of PAL5s tax pri0ile.es
+o+eri. imported .oods, may it 1e a? PAL5s tax exemptio o ex+ise tax
+osts &hi+h are merely passed o to it 1y the importer &he it 1uys
imported .oods from the latter@ or 1? PAL5s tax exemptio o its dire+t ex+ise
tax lia1ility &he it imports the .oods itself. A6ee p. //$ for a i-depth
aalysis?
'ased o 6e+tio 1/ of PAL5s fra+hise, PAL5s tax exemptio pri0ile.es o
all ta*es o a0iatio .as, fuel ad oil may 1e +lassi%ed ito three 7idsB a?
all taxes due o PAL5s lo+al pur+hase of a0iatio .as, fuel ad oil@ 1? all taxes
dire+tly due from or imposa1le upo the pur+haser or the seller, produ+er,
maufa+turer, or importer of a0iatio .as, fuel ad oil 1ut are 1illed or
passed o to PAL ad +? all taxes due o all importatios 1y PAL of a0iatio
.as, fuel, ad oil.