Friday, March 02, 2012

Gatchalian vs. Collector of Internal Revenue [G.R. No. L-45425, April 29, 1939]

Facts: Plaintiffs purchased, in the ordinary course of business, from one of the duly authorized agents of the National Charity Sweepstakes Office one ticket for the sum of two pesos (P2), said ticket was registered in the name of Jose Gatchalian and Company. The ticket won one of the third-prizes in the amount of P50,000. 

Jose Gatchalian was required to file the corresponding income tax return covering the prize won. Defendant-Collector made an assessment against Jose Gatchalian and Co. requesting the payment of the sum of P1,499.94 to the deputy provincial treasurer of Pulilan, Bulacan. Plaintiffs, however through counsel made a request for exemption. It was denied. 

Plaintiffs failed to pay the amount due, hence a warrant of distraint and levy was issued. Plaintiffs paid under protest a part of the tax and penalties to avoid the effects of the warrant. A request that the balance be paid by plaintiffs in installments was made. This was granted on the condition that a bond be filed. 

Plaintiffs failed in their installment payments. Hence a request for execution of the warrant of distraint and levy was made. Plaintiffs paid under protest to avoid the execution. 

A claim for refund was made by the plaintiffs, which was dismissed, hence the appeal. 

Issue: Whether the plaintiffs formed a partnership hence liable for income tax. 

Held: Yes. According to the stipulation facts the plaintiffs organized a partnership of a civil nature because each of them put up money to buy a sweepstakes ticket for the sole purpose of dividing equally the prize which they may win, as they did in fact in the amount of P50,000. The partnership was not only formed, but upon the organization thereof and the winning of the prize, Jose Gatchalian personally appeared in the office of the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes, in his capacity as co-partner, as such collection the prize, the office issued the check for P50,000 in favor of Jose Gatchalian and company, and the said partner, in the same capacity, collected the said check. All these circumstances repel the idea that the plaintiffs organized and formed a community of property only.

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