By Jun Ramirez
A Metro Manila bus operator, who had been charged with tax evasion, was able to escape imprisonment because of the failure of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to formally inform her about her tax liabilities.
The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) also exempted Rosalinda Valisno Cando, owner of Gasat Express of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan from paying the BIR more than P2.2 million in tax debts.
In an 18-page decision, the court’s First Division dismissed the BIR stand that it sent via registered mail assessment notices to the accused, including the Letter of Authority to Investigate, Preliminary and Final Assesment Notices.
The BIR lawyers failed to present, during the trial, the registry return cards issued by the Bureau of Posts which should have been signed by the taxpayer, or her duly authorized representative.
The court stated that the Tax Code and BIR regulations mandate that such assessment notices must be personally received by the taxpayer.
In this particular case, the court said the prosecution (BIR) failed to counter the allegations of Ms. Cando that she did not receive the tax notices.
“The BIR failed to establish the crime committed and the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” the court added.
The deficiency tax assessments covered income, value-added and expanded withholding taxes for 2007.(Jun Ramirez)