The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has ruled that a regional director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is not authorized to issue a letter of authority (LA) to investigate a taxpayer if his or her designation to the position is just an “officer-in-charge”, or OIC.
The CTA issued the ruling affirming the decision of its Special Second Division, which in effect voided the LA issued to Amparo Shipping Corporation to collect more than P16 million in deficiency taxes for 2011.
The LA was signed by a Cebu assistant revenue regional director in his capacity as OIC of the office.
The court said only the BIR commissioner is authorized to issue LAs, although this power can be delegated to deputy commissioners and regular regional directors under Section 6 of the Tax Code.
For the sake of exigency, the commissioner may designate other officials, but upon prior approval.
The court stressed that an assistant regional director is not one of those authorized to issue an LA.
The decision was written by Associate Justice Jean Marie Bacorro-Villena.