COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE vs. SM PRIME HOLDINGS, INC. - Value Added Tax on Cinemas
Are the gross receipts derived by operators or proprietors of cinema/theater houses from admission tickets subject to VAT?
NO. While (1) the enumeration under Section 108 on the VAT-taxable services is not exhaustive and (2) the said list includes “the lease of motion picture films, films, tapes and discs”, the said activity however is not the same as showing or exhibition of motion pictures or films. Thus, since the showing or exhibition of motion pictures or films is not in the enumeration, the CIR must show that it falls under the phrase “similar services”.
The repeal of the Local Tax Code by the LGC of 1991 is not a legal basis for the imposition of VAT on the gross receipts of cinema/theater operators or proprietors derived from admission tickets. The removal of the prohibition (on the national government to tax certain activities) under the Local Tax Code did not grant nor restore to the national government the power to impose amusement tax on cinema/theater operators or proprietors. Neither did it expand the coverage of VAT.