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PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION VS. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS G.R. NO.

176380
6/18/2009

FACTS:

Shell is a domestic corporation engaged, among others, in the importation of petroleum and its by-products
into the country. For these importations, Shell was assessed and required to pay customs duties and internal revenue
taxes.
For the years 1997 and 1998, Shell paid its liabilities for customs duties and internal revenue taxes using tax credit
certificates (TCCs) that were transferred to it for value by several Board of Investments – registered companies. The
transfer of these certificates (TCC) by transferor’s-BOI-registered companies and eventually approved by the Center
which is composed of several government agencies. Both the BIR and BOC accepted and allowed the use of TCC on
the belief that these were good and valid.
However, last November 1999, the Center informed Shell that it was cancelling its the TCC’s after post-audit
investigation discovered that these TCCs were fraudulently secured . In view of this the Center required Shell to pay
the amounts corresponding TCCs used to settle its tax liabilities. Shell objected to the cancellation and claimed it was
denied due process. Shell sent a letter, however, was not acted upon by the Center. Instead, the respondent sent a
letter on November 19, 1999, requiring Shell to replace the amount of the cancelled TCCs for the receipts issued for it
became null and void in view of fraud in the their acquisitions. Shell submitted its reply only on December 23, 1999.
Three years later, the respondent through Atty. Valera sent demand letters for the payment corresponding
to the cancelled TCCs. In April 2002, Shell received summons in one of three collection cases.
On May 23, 2002, Shell filed with the CTA a Petition for Review questioning BOC collection efforts for lack of
legal and factual basis raising issues among others whether or not TCCs were genuine and authentic; whether such
fraud can work to the prejudice of an innocent purchaser for value not party to a fraud.
Respondent filed a motion to dismiss Shell’s petition for review on the ground of prescription for said
petition was filed beyond the 30-day period provided by law on appeals of decision’s of the Commissioner of Customs
to the CTA.

ISSUES:

Whether or not Shell’s petition for review with the CTA was filed within the 30-day reglementary period and
it should be counted from the date it received the summons for collection.

Court’s Ruling:

The Court ruled that the present case does not in any way involve a tax protest case within the jurisdiction
of the CTA to resolve. The Court further explained that a tax protest case involves a protest of liquidation of import
duties on imported merchandise. It is akin to assessment of internal revenue taxes under the NIRC. The demand
letters subject of contention could not be considered as liquidation or assessment of Shell’s liabilities. In fact, its tax
liabilities were already certain and definite and paid by tax credit certificates. Demand letters were sent to collect the
amount due for TCC used were originally obtained through fraud thus rendering the prior payment null and void. The
appropriate forum for the collection case should have been the Regional Trial Court. However, no appeal had been
perfected rendering the collection issue ripe and final. Thus, Shell’s petition for review on certiorari is denied and its
petition for review before the CTA is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.