COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE vs. BURMEISTER AND WAIN SCANDINAVIAN CONTRACTOR MINDANAO, INC. - Value Added Tax, Zero Rated
A foreign consortium, parent company of Burmeister, entered into an O&M contract with NPC. The foreign entity then subcontracted the actual O&M to Burmeister. NPC paid the foreign consortium a mixture of currencies while the consortium, in turn, paid Burmeister foreign currency inwardly remitted into the Philippines. BIR did not want to grant refund since the services are “not destined for consumption abroad” (or the destination principle).
Are the receipts of Burmeister entitled to VAT zero-rated status?
PARTIALLY. Respondent is entitled to the refund prayed for BUT ONLY for the period covered prior to the filing of CIR’s Answer in the CTA.
The claim has no merit since the consortium, which was the recipient of services rendered by Burmeister, was deemed doing business within the Philippines since its 15-year O&M with NPC can not be interpreted as an isolated transaction.
In addition, the services referring to ‘processing, manufacturing, repacking’ and ‘services other than those in (1)’ of Sec. 102 both require (i) payment in foreign currency; (ii) inward remittance; (iii) accounted for by the BSP; AND (iv) that the service recipient is doing business outside the Philippines. The Court ruled that if this is not the case, taxpayers can circumvent just by stipulating payment in foreign currency.
The refund was partially allowed since Burmeister secured a ruling from the BIR allowing zero-rating of its sales to foreign consortium. However, the ruling is only valid until the time that CIR filed its Answer in the CTA which is deemed revocation of the previously-issued ruling. The Court said the revocation can not retroact since none of the instances in Section 246 (bad faith, omission of facts, etc.) are present.