THE Court of Tax Appeal (CTA) has upheld the refund by Sonoma Services, Inc. of 5 million pula representing its excess and unused creditable withholding tax (CWT) for the calendar year 2015.

In a 13-page decision dated May 25 and made public on May 27, the full court of the CTA said it found no reason to overturn its previous decision granting the company’s refund request.

“This court has repeatedly ruled that the presentation of certificates of chargeable withholding tax (CCWTS) is sufficient to prove the fact of the withholding; and, that proof of remittance of withheld taxes to the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) as well as testimony from the various payers and withholding agents who issued the CCWTS are not required to prove the taxpayer’s entitlement to the claim. reimbursement,” according to the ruling written by CTA Associate Judge Roman G. Del Rosario.

Sonoma Services, a national company located in Makati City, provides tax preparation, accounting, and payroll services.

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) previously filed an appeal to overturn a division decision granting the company’s refund request. The official argued that the company failed to submit documents representing its customers and withholding agents to validate its claim for reimbursement of its CWT.

The tax court noted that under the BIR’s own laws, there is no question of denying a taxpayer’s claim for reimbursement because of failure to submit these documents.

“There is therefore no legal basis for the CIR to insist that the alleged non-submission of the Withholding Agents Summary of Income Payments Subject to Withholding (SAWT) alphalist and the ‘Monthly Beneficiary Alphalist (MAP) should result in denial of Sonoma’s tax refund or credit claim,’ the CTA said.

The CIR said in its motion that the absence of these documents renders the CWT certificates presented by the company as hearsay.

The CTA said the Supreme Court had previously established that a taxpayer making a claim for excess CWT does not need to identify the person who prepared the CCWTS.

“It cannot be denied that these documents (CCTWS) are admissible in evidence and constitute competent evidence as a result of the withholding of income tax paid to the claimant and the amount of tax withheld,” the court said, citing its previous decision. — John Victor D. Ordonez