ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION vs. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE- Formal Letter of Demand on Tax Assessment
Allied Banking Corporation received a PAN from the BIR which it timely disputed. In response, the BIR issued a Formal Letter of Demand with Assessment Notices. Instead of protesting the FAN, the petitioner filed a Petition for Review with the CTA. The CTA dismissed the Petition stating that it is neither the assessment nor the formal demand letter itself that is appealable before it but instead it should be the decision of the CIR on the disputed assessment
Can the Formal Letter of Demand be construed as the final decision of the CIR appealable to the CTA under Republic Act 9282?
YES. This is considered an exception to the general rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies since the CIR is considered estopped from claiming the same principle applies in its case. The tenor of the demand letter is clear that the CIR had already made a final decision and that the remedy of the Petitioner was to appeal the same within 30 days of receipt. This can be gleaned from the use of the terms “final decision” and “appeal” which were deemed unequivocal language pointing to the finality of the decision. While the Court cited the rules relative to (a) protesting the FAN and not the PAN and (b) counting the 30 day period to appeal to the CTA from receipt of the decision of the CIR and not issuance of the assessment, this particular case was deemed a clear exception in view of the CIR’s own actions.