Saturday, March 10, 2012

Esso Standard Eastern Inc. vs. CIR (G.R. Nos. L-28508-9, July 7, 1989)

Facts: In CTA Case No. 1251, Esso Standard Eastern Inc. (Esso) deducted from its gross income for 1959, as part of its ordinary and necessary business expenses, the amount it had spent for drilling and exploration of its petroleum concessions. This claim was disallowed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) on the ground that the expenses should be capitalized and might be written off as a loss only when a "dry hole" should result. Esso then filed an amended return where it asked for the refund of P323,279.00 by reason of its abandonment as dry holes of several of its oil wells. Also claimed as ordinary and necessary expenses in the same return was the amount of P340,822.04, representing margin fees it had paid to the Central Bank on its profit remittances to its New York head office. 

On August 5, 1964, the CIR granted a tax credit of P221,033.00 only, disallowing the claimed deduction for the margin fees paid on the ground that the margin fees paid to the Central Bank could not be considered taxes or allowed as deductible business expenses. 

Esso appealed to the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) for the refund of the margin fees it had earlier paid contending that the margin fees were deductible from gross income either as a tax or as an ordinary and necessary business expense. However, Esso’s appeal was denied. 

Issues
(1) Whether or not the margin fees are taxes. 

(2) Whether or not the margin fees are necessary and ordinary business expenses. 

Held
(1) No. A tax is levied to provide revenue for government operations, while the proceeds of the margin fee are applied to strengthen our country's international reserves. The margin fee was imposed by the State in the exercise of its police power and not the power of taxation. 

(2) No. Ordinarily, an expense will be considered 'necessary' where the expenditure is appropriate and helpful in the development of the taxpayer's business. It is 'ordinary' when it connotes a payment which is normal in relation to the business of the taxpayer and the surrounding circumstances. Since the margin fees in question were incurred for the remittance of funds to Esso's Head Office in New York, which is a separate and distinct income taxpayer from the branch in the Philippines, for its disposal abroad, it can never be said therefore that the margin fees were appropriate and helpful in the development of Esso's business in the Philippines exclusively or were incurred for purposes proper to the conduct of the affairs of Esso's branch in the Philippines exclusively or for the purpose of realizing a profit or of minimizing a loss in the Philippines exclusively. If at all, the margin fees were incurred for purposes proper to the conduct of the corporate affairs of Esso in New York, but certainly not in the Philippines. 




Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Esso Standard Eastern Inc. vs. CIR (G.R. Nos. L-28508-9, July 7, 1989)"

Post a Comment