On March 27, 2012, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued a notice of assessment against Blue Water Industries Inc. (BWI), a domestic corporation, informing the latter of its alleged deficiency corporate income tax for the year 2009. On April 20, 2012, BWI filed a letter protest before the BIR contesting said assessment and demanding that the same be cancelled or set aside.
However, on May 19, 2013, that is, after more than a year from the filing of the letter protest, the BIR informed BWI that the latter’s letter protest was denied on the ground that the assessment had already become final, executory and demandable. The BIR reasoned that its failure to decide the case within 180 days from filing of the letter protest should have prompted BWI to seek recourse before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) by filing a petition for review within thirty (30) days after the expiration of the 180-day period as mandated by the provisions of the last paragraph of Section 228 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). Accordingly, BWI’s failure to file a petition for review before the CTA rendered the assessment final, executory and demandable. Is the contention of the BIR correct? Explain. (5%)
No, the contention of BIR is not correct. The right of BWI to consider the inaction of the Commissioner on the protest within 180 days as an appealable decision is only optional and will not make the assessment final, executory and demandable (Section 228, NIRC; Lascona Land Co., Inc. vs CIR 667 SCRA 455 (March 5, 2012)