Silkair (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. v CIR; G.R. No. 173594; 06 Feb 2008

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Petitioner on 19 December 2001 filed with the BIR a written application for the refund of excise taxes it claimed to have paid on its purchases of jet fuel from Petron Corporation from January to June 2000.

As the BIR had not yet acted on its application as of 26 December 2001, petitioner filed a petition for review before the CTA, which denied the petition on the ground that as the excise tax was imposed on Petron Corporation as the manufacturer of petroleum products, any claim for refund should be filed by the latter.

Whether or not petitioner may file a claim for refund or tax credit.

NO. The proper party to question, or seek a refund of, an indirect tax is the statutory taxpayer, the person on whom the tax is imposed by law and who paid the same even if he shifts the burden thereof to another. Thus, Petron Corporation, not Silkair, is the statutory taxpayer which is entitled to claim a refund based on Section 135 of the NIRC of 1997 and Article 4(2) of the Air Transport Agreement between RP and Singapore.

Even if Petron Corporation passed on to Silkair the burden of the tax, the additional amount billed to Silkair for jet fuel is not a tax but part of the price which Silkair had to pay as a purchaser.

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