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COMMISSION OF INTERNAL REVENUE vs. HANTEX TRADING CO., INCG.R. No. 136975. March
31, 2005Facts:
Hantex Trading Co is a company organized under the Philippines. It is engaged in
the sale of plasticproducts, it imports synthetic resin and other chemicals for
the manufacture of its products. For thispurpose, it is required to file an Imp
ort Entry and Internal Revenue Declaration (ConsumptionEntry) with the Bureau of
Customs under Section 1301 of the Tariff and Customs Code. Sometime inOctober 1
989, Lt. Vicente Amoto, Acting Chief of Counter-Intelligence Division of the Eco
nomicIntelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB), received confidential informa
tion that the respondenthad imported synthetic resin amounting to P115,599,018.0
0 but only declared P45,538,694.57. Thus,Hentex receive a subpoena to present it
s books of account which it failed to do. The bureau cannotfind any original cop
ies of the products Hentex imported since the originals were eaten by termites.T
hus, the Bureau relied on the certified copies of the respondents Profit and Loss
Statement for 1987and 1988 on file with the SEC, the machine copies of the Cons
umption Entries, Series of 1987,submitted by the informer, as well as excerpts f
rom the entries certified by Tomas and Danganan.The case was submitted to the CT
A which ruled that Hentex have tax deficiency and is ordered topay, per investig
ation of the Bureau. The CA ruled that the income and sales tax deficiency asses
sments issued by the petitioner were unlawful and baseless since the copies of t
he importentries relied upon in computing the deficiency tax of the respondent w
ere not duly authenticated by the public officer charged with their custody, nor
verified under oath by the EIIB and the BIR investigators.Issue: Whether or not
the final assessment of the petitioner against the respondent for deficiency in
cometax and sales tax for the latters 1987 importation of resins and calcium bica
rbonate is based oncompetent evidence and the law.Held:Central to the second iss
ue is Section 16 of the NIRC of 1977, as amended which provides that theCommissi
oner of Internal Revenue has the power to make assessments and prescribe additio
nalrequirements for tax administration and enforcement. Among such powers are th
ose provided inparagraph (b), which provides that Failure to submit required retu
rns, statements, reports andother documents. When a report required by law as a
basis for the assessment of any nationalinternal revenue tax shall not be forthc
oming within the time fixed by law or regulation or whenthere is reason to belie
ve that any such report is false, incomplete or erroneous, the Commissionershall
assess the proper tax on the best evidence obtainable. Such evidence also inclu
des data, record, paper,document or any evidence gathered by internal revenue of
ficers from other taxpayers who hadpersonal transactions or from whom the subjec
t taxpayer received any income; and record, data,document and information secure
d from government offices or agencies, such as the SEC, theCentral Bank of the P
hilippines, the Bureau of Customs, and the Tariff and Customs Commission.However
, the best evidence obtainable under Section 16 of the 1977 NIRC, as amended, do
es notinclude mere photocopies of records/documents. The petitioner, in making a
preliminary and finaltax deficiency assessment against a taxpayer, cannot ancho
r the said assessment on mere machinecopies of records/documents. Mere photocopi
es of the Consumption Entries have no probative weight if offered as proof of th
e contents thereof. The reason for this is that such copies are merescraps of pa
per and are of no probative value as basis for any deficiency income or business
taxesagainst a taxpayer