Petitioner previously issued against respondent a Pre-Assessment Notice and Details of Discrepancies on 12 February 2003, an Assessment Notice indicating a deficiency income tax assessment on 14 April 2003 and a Preliminary Collection Letter requesting GJM to pay said deficiency income tax for the taxable year 1999, the last one addressed to GJM’s former address in Makati. On 18 August 2003, although the BIR sent a Final Notice Before Seizure to respondent’s address in Cavite, the latter claimed that it did not receive the same.
On 08 December 2003, GJM received a Warrant of Distraint and/or Levy from the BIR. Respondent then filed its Letter Protest on 07 January 2004, which the BIR denied on 15 January 2004.
Whether or not BIR has the burden of proving that GJM received the Final Notice.
YES. When an assessment is made within the prescriptive period, as in the case at bar, receipt by the taxpayer may or may not be within said period. But it must be clarified that the rule does not dispense with the requirement that the taxpayer should actually receive the assessment notice, even beyond the prescriptive period.
If the taxpayer denies having received an assessment from the BIR, it then becomes incumbent upon the latter to prove by competent evidence that such notice was indeed received by the addressee. A mailed letter is deemed received by the addressee in the course of mail, but this is merely a disputable presumption subject to controversion, the direct denial of which shifts the burden to the sender to prove that the mailed letter was, in fact, received by the addressee.