Court exonerates two petroleum execs of tax evasion

The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has erased the P405 million tax liabilities of two petroleum executives after they were cleared of tax evasion charges.

Court of Tax Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)
Court of Tax Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed the civil case to collect the tax debts against Arturo Zapata and Jacob Valeriano, Jr., president and treasurer, respectively, of Cross Country Oil and Petroleum Corporation of Binondo, Manila after the court's Second Division exonerated them of the crime of tax evasion.

The BIR stated that revenue officers had gathered strong evidence against the duo for deliberate and willful neglect not to pay the tax, despite their acquittal.

The full court acknowledges the right of a plaintiff under the Civil Code to seek civil damages from the respondents based on preponderance of evidence.

But in this particular case, the court said there was no crime committed by the respondents as the Letter of Authority (LA) to investigate Cross Country was served more than 30 days upon its issuance, a violation of the Tax Code and revenue regulations.

The 18-page resolution dismissing the deficiency income, value added and expanded withholding taxes for 2011 was penned by Associate Justice Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro.