ISSUE: WON San Roque is entitled to tax refund?
FACTS: On October 11, 1997, San Roque entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the National Power Corporation (NPC) by building the San Roque Multi- Purpose Project in San Manuel, Pangasinan. The San Roque Multi-Purpose Project allegedly incurred, excess input VAT in the amount of P559,709,337.54 for taxable year 2001 which it declared in its Quarterly VAT Returns filed for the same year. San Roque duly filed with the BIR separate claims for refund, amounting to P559,709,337.54, representing unutilized input taxes as declared in its VAT returns for taxable year 2001. However, on March 28, 2003, San Roque filed amended Quarterly VAT Returns for the year2001 since it increased its unutilized input VAT To the amount of P560,200,283.14. SanRoque filed with the BIR on the same date, separate amended claims for refund in the aggregate amount of P560,200,283.14. On April 10, 2003, a mere 13 days after it filed its amended administrative claim with the CIR on March 28, 2003, San Roque filed a Petition for Review with the CTA. CIR alleged that the claim by San Roque was prematurely filed with the CTA.
DECISION: No. SC granted the petition of CIR to deny the tax refund or credit claim of San Roque.
RATIO DECIDENDI: San Roque is not entitled to a tax refund because it failed to comply with the mandatory and jurisdictional requirement of waiting 120 days before filing its judicial claim. On April 10, 2003, a mere 13 days after it filed its amended administrative claim with the CIR on March 28, 2003, San Roque filed a Petition for Review with the CTA, which showed that San Roque did not wait for the 120-day period to lapse before filing its judicial claim. Compliance with the 120-day waiting period is mandatory and jurisdictional, under RA8424 or the Tax Reform Act of 1997. Failure to comply renders the petition void. Article 5 of the Civil Code provides, "Acts executed against provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity." Section 112(D) of the 1997 Tax Code is clear, unequivocal, and categorical that the CIR has 120 days to act on an administrative claim. The taxpayer can file the judicial claim(1) Only within 30 days after the CIR partially or fully denies the claim within the 120-day period, or(2) only within 30 days from the expiration of the 120- day period if the CIR does not act within the 120-day period.