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CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS

A. Direct
1) Due process
Should not be harsh, oppressive,
or confiscatory (Substantive)
By authority of valid law
(Substantive)
Must be for a public purpose
(Substantive)
Imposed within territorial
jurisdiction (Substantive)
No arbitrariness in assessment
and collection (Procedural)
Right to notice and hearing
(Procedural)
2) Equal protection
All persons subject to legislation
shall be treated alike, under like
circumstances and conditions
both in privileges conferred and
liabilities imposed.
Power to tax includes power to
classify provided:
(a) Based on substantial
distinction
(b) Apply to present and future
conditions
(c) Germane to purpose of law
(d) Apply equally to all members of
the same class
3) Non-impairment clause
Rules
(a) When government is party to
contract granting exemption
cannot be withdrawn
without violating nonimpairment
clause
(b) When exemption generally
granted by law withdrawal
does not violate
(c) When exemption granted
under a franchise may be
revoked; Consti provides that
franchise is subject to
amendment, alteration, or
repeal by Congress.
4) Must be uniform and equitable

ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2007


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Uniform: all articles or properties


of the same class taxed at same
rate

Equity: apportionment must be


more or less just in the light of
taxpayers ability to shoulder tax
burden
5) Non-imprisonment for non-payment
of poll tax
Taxpayer may be imprisoned for
non-payment of other kinds of
taxes where the law so expressly
provides.
6) Congress shall evolve a progressive
system of taxation
As resources of the taxpayer
becomes higher, his tax rate
likewise increases (ex. Income
tax)
Constitution does not prohibit
regressive taxes; this is a
directive upon Congress, not a
justiciable right.
7) All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills shall
originate exclusively in the House of
Representatives, but the Senate may
propose or concur with amendments
It is the bill, not the law, that must
originate from House; bill may undergo
extensive changes in Senate
Rationale: members of House are more
sensitive to local needs.
8) Freedom of religion
Activities simply and purely for
propagation of faith are exempt (e.g. sale
of bibles and religious articles by nonstock,
non-profit organization at minimal
profit).
Tax is unconstitutional if it operates as a
prior restraint on exercise of religion
Income even of religious organizations
from any activity conducted for profil or
from any of their property, real or
personal, regardless of disposition of
such income, is taxable
9) Freedom of press/expression
Tax that operates as a prior restraint
invalid.
If fee is only for purpose of defraying cost
of registration and not for exercise of
privilege, no violation.
10) Charitable institutions, churches, and
parsonages or convents appurtenant thereto,
mosques and non-profit cemeteries and all
lands, buildings and improvements
ACTUALLY, DIRECTLY and EXCLUSIVELY
USED for charitable, religious and
educational purposes shall be exempt from

taxation
Pertains only to real estate tax.
Test of exemption: actual use of the
property, not ownership
Use of word exclusively means
primarily rather than solely.
Exemption extends to property incidental
to or reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purposes
mentioned.
11) Tax exemption of all revenues and assets of
(a) non-stock, non-profit educational
institutions
(b) used ACTUALLY, DIRECTLY AND
EXCLUSIVELY for educational
purposes
Exemption covers income, property,
donors tax, and customs duties
(distinguish from previous which pertains
only to property tax)
Revenue must both be (a) derived from
an activity in pursuance of educational
purpose; and (b) proceeds must be used
for the same purpose (ex. hospital
adjunct to medical school tax exempt)
(ex. Interest income not exempt).
Income exempt provided it is used for
maintenance or improvement of
institution.
Distinguish from tax treatment of (a)
proprietary educational institutions
(Preferential Tax); and (b) government
educational institutions (exempt, ex. UP)
12) Delegated authority of President to impose
tariff rates, import and export quotas,
tonnage and wharfage dues
delegated by Congress
through a law
subject to Congressional limits and
restrictions
within the framework of national
development program
13) Law granting tax exemption (includes
amnesties, condonations and refunds) shall
be passed with concurrence of Congress majority of all members voting separately
Relative majority (majority of quorum) is
sufficient to withdraw exemption.
14) No use of public money or property for
religious purposes except if priest is assigned
to armed forces, penal institutions,
government orphanage or leprosarium