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Gibbs vs Commissioner

G.R. No. L-17406


November 29, 1965
Regala, J.
TOPIC IN SYLLABUS: Remedies
SUMMARY: The Gibbs were assessed for deficiency taxes in the year 1950. They filed for refund,
but the Commissioner didnt grant this. The SC ruled that the case was filed beyond the 30-day
period. They also ruled that the 2-year prescriptive period begins to run when the withheld tax at
source falls due at the end of the year, pursuant to Sec. 306
HOW THE CASE REACHED THE SC: From the CTA via Petition for Review
FACTS:
February 6, 1956, the respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue issued against the
petitioners, "Finley J. Gibbs and Diane P. Gibbs, c/o Francisco Collantes, Rm. 301, Cepoc Bldg.,
Dasmarias, Manila" Deficiency Income Tax Assessment for 1950, with demand to pay on or
before March 15, 1956. Allison Gibbs questioned disallowance of items which gave rise to the
deficiency assessment and requested for a correction. This was denied by the Commissioner.
Allison Gibbs paid 16,853 in protest. Afterwards, she demanded refund of the payment by
October 4, or else she will file a Petition for Review with the CTA with damages of 6% interest
per annum plus atty. fees of 25% of the amount involved. However, the Commissioner again
denied the refund.
Gibbs wrote another letter to reiterate the demand for refund on the ground that the deficiency
assessment was illegal and that the letter was not a rulingon the claim for refund. Certain claims
for tax credits were also raised. She demanded payment by Ocrober 1, 1958 or else they would
file a case in the CTA.
A petition was filed "Petition for Review and Refund of Income Tax with Motion for Suspension
of Collection of Additional Taxes". The CTA dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
PETITIONERS ARGUMENT:
- Respondent court erred in ruling that their petition for review was filed outside the 30-day
period prescribed by Section 8 of Republic Act No. 1125 because (a) there is neither
evidence nor record that the petitioners received a copy of the letter of October 26, 1956
denying their claim for refund, and (b) the aforesaid letter of October 26, 1956 is not a
denial of their claim for refund.
- they never received a copy of the letter denying their claim for refund. They say Gibbs
was never their legal counsel, only an agent or attorney-infact
- However, it was Allison Gibbs their attorney-in-fact who received a copy of the same. In
support of this, it is argued that prior to October 26, 1956, Allison J. Gibbs had explicitly
qualified his signature to all his correspondences regarding the disputed assessment as
"attorney-in-fact." Furthermore, it is urged that as might be seen on the face of the
assessment notice itself, the real legal counsel of the petitioners in the matter of the said
assessment was Atty. Francisco Collantes.
-

CTA erred in ruling that claim for tax credit had already expired because it pertained to
tax payments made in 1951, and the protest was made only in 1958.

Enzo Regondola

CASE #XX

They insist that they could not be deemed to have paid 1951 tax obligation until
February 1957 because they merely contributed to the withholding tax system in
1951 and claimed certain refunds against their contribution at the end of the said
tax year and they received notice of the resolution on their claim for such refund
only on February 19, 1957. Basically, income tax assessments against which
claims for refund have been lodged and which are covered by taxes withheld at
the source shall be considered paid, not at the time such tax obligations fall due,
but, only when the claims for refund against the assessments are finally resolved
by the authorities.

RESPONDENTS ARGUMENT: : CTA has no jurisdiction because case was filed beyond the
30-day period from receipt of respondent's decision.
ISSUES:
W/N the petition was filed beyond the 30-day period YES
- General rule is that it runs from receipt of the assailed order. In this case, the receipt of
October 26, 1956; case was filed October 1958.
W/N Allison Gibbs is the legal counsel of the petitioners YES
- That Allison J. Gibbs was not merely the agent of the petitioners in the matter under
litigation, contrary to all that is alleged above, is demonstrated, however, by the following
circumstances obtaining in this case:
o Allison J. Gibbs acknowledged for the petitioners receipt of the deficiency income
tax assessment, formally protested the same in writing, paid the assessment and
likewise formally demanded in writing its refund.
o As far back as 1952, Allison J. Gibbs' Law office had been representing the
petitioners as the latter's counsel.
o Atty. Francisco Collantes, to whom the assessment notice was admittedly
addressed, at the time of the said assessment, was a staff lawyer in the firm of
Gibbs and Chuidian, of which Allison J. Gibbs was a principal partner.
- We find all the above as ample evidence of the lawyer-client-relationship of the
petitioners herein and Allison J, Gibbs.
- Charging attorney's fees is proof that Allison was their legal counsel.
Whether the withholding tax credits amount to payment for the purpose of determining
the two-year period as provided for by Section 306 of the Internal Revenue Code. - YES
-

Contribution to withholding tax system performs, and extinguishes his tax obligation
during the year. Taxpayer whose income is withheld at source will be deemed to have
paid tax liability when the same falls due at the end of the tax year. That will start the
running of the 2-year prescriptive period prescribed in Sec. 306 with respect to the
payments efffected through the withholding tax system.

Enzo Regondola

CASE #XX