CIR v Union Shipping Corp. and CTA; G.R. No. L-66160; 21 May 1990

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Petitioner assessed private respondent for deficiency taxes due for years 1971 and 1972. Private respondent protested the assessment but petitioner instead issued on 25 November 1976 a Warrant of Distraint and Levy. The latter reiterated its request for reinvestigation of the assessment and for reconsideration of the summary collection through the Warrant of Distraint and Levy. Again without action on the request for reinvestigation and reconsideration of the Warrant, petitioner filed a collection suit against private respondent. Summons was issued against the latter on 28 December 1978. On 10 January 1979, private respondent filed its petition for review with the CTA.

Whether or not petitioner’s decision has become final and executory for failure of private respondent to timely appeal before the CTA.

NO. There appears to be no dispute that petitioner did not rule on private respondent’s motion for reconsideration but left the latter in the dark as to which action of the Commissioner is the decision appealable to the Court of Tax Appeals. Had he categorically stated that he denies private respondent’s motion for reconsideration and that his action constitutes his determination on the disputed assessment, private respondent without needless difficulty would have been able to determine when his right to appeal accrues and the resulting confusion would have been avoided.

The request for reinvestigation and reconsideration was in effect considered denied by petitioner when the latter filed a civil suit for collection of deficiency. So when private respondent filed the appeal with the Court of Tax Appeals, it consumed a total of only thirteen (13) days, well within the thirty-day period to appeal pursuant to Section 11 of R.A. No. 1125.

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