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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-2624. September 29, 1951. ]

MACONDRY & CO., INC., demandante-apelante, contra EL ADMINISTRADOR DE RENTAS INTERNAS, demandado-apelado.

D. Jose Agbulos en representacion del demandante y apelante.

El Procurador Auxiliar Sr. Francisco Carreon y el Procurador Sr. Martiniano P. Vivo en representacion del demandado y apelado.

SYLLABUS


1. IMPUESTOS DE RENTAS INTERNAS; IMPORTACION. — Corren a cuen ta del importador los gastos indespensables desde el pier hasta la entrega de la mercancia, como los "port charges." Los "port charges" o gastos de puerto estan sujetos, por tanto al impuesto previsto por el articulo 186 del Codigo Nacional de Rentas Internas, como parte del precio.

2. ID.; ID.; "PORT CHARGES," CUALES SON. — "Port charges," o gastos de puerto, son las cantidades que un importador cobro de sus parroquianos por valor de los sellos documentales que se adhirieron a los conocimientos de embarque y gastos de transportacion, desde el "pier" hasta su casa, de las mercancias vendidas a ellos.

3. ID.; ID.; SE EXPLICAN LOS TERMINOS "c.i.f." Y "GROSS SELLING PRICE." — "C.F.I." significan "cost, insurance and freight charges" (55 C.J., 227). En los contratos "C.I.F.," el comprador paga solamente el costo de la mercancia y los gastos de seguro y flete (38 Jur. Fil., 639). Esta clase de contrato se celebra generalmente entre el fabricante y sus compradores directos. Es que quire facilitar la venta de sus productos, sin intervencion de un comerciante revendedor. Pero un comerciante local, al revender sus mercancias importadas, cobra una cantidad que le restituye el costo, los gastos de seguro y flete, otros gastos incidentales necesarios como los "port charges," la parte alicuota en los gastos del establecimiento, sueldo del personal, alumbrado y vertilacion, ganancia razonable, impuetos, etc. Todo eso es el precio de venta bruta ("gross selling price").


D E C I S I O N


PABLO, M. :


Se trata de una apelacion interpuesta por la demandante contra una decision del Juzgado de Primera Instancia de Manila que sobreseyo su demanda,

En la vista de la causa ambas partes sometieron un convenio de hechos, cuya parte esencial es la siguiente:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"3. During the first and second quarters of 1946, plaintiff received from its customers as ’port charges’ P87,075.60.

"4. The so-called ’port charges’ were separately itemized and billed against plaintiff’s customers.

"5. The corresponding sales tax on the costs, insurance and freight were duly paid by the plaintiff to the defendant.

"6. On August 16, 1946, the defendant wrote the plaintiff advising that the said ’port charges’ formed a part of the purchase price of the goods and as such plaintiff must pay 3 1/2% additional sales tax plus 25% surcharge and P50.00 as a compromise, or a total of P3,859.58, copy of said letter being as follows:

" ’Macondray & Co., Inc.,

827 R. Hidalgo,

Manila

Gentlemen:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

I have the honor to advise that upon investigation conducted by an agent of this office it was ascertained that you failed to pay the full amount of percentage tax from you for the first and second quarters of 1946, in violation of section 186 of the National Internal Revenue Code, in view of the fact that port charges collected from your customers as forming part of the selling Price of the articles sold by you, were not declared for taxation.

It is informed in this connection that ’gross selling price’ or ’gross value in money’ of the articles sold, bartered, exchanged, or transferred, as the term is used in sections 184, 185 and 186 of the said Code is the total account of money or its equivalent which the purchaser pays to the vendor to receive or get the goods. As port charges were collected from your customers, the same should have been declared for the purposes of the 3 1/2% tax. There is, therefore due from you the sum of P3,809.58 computed as follows:

Port charges appearing in the

sales invoices and collected from

your customers not declared for

taxation P91,178.54

Port charges representing addi-

tional expenses for laborers

which formed part of the selling

price of the articles but not de-

clared for taxation 1,624.14

————

Total untaxed port charges P92,802.68

Less allowances given to customers

due to shortage or damage to

articles sold 5,727.08

Untaxed port charges or sales P87,015.60

3 1/2% on P87,075.60 P3,047.66

25% surcharge 761.92

————

TAX AND SURCHARGE DUE P3,309.58

’Demand is, therefore, made upon you to pay the said sum of P3,809.58 within ten (10) days from your receipt of this letter.

Please be further advised that your failure to pay the full amount of percentage tax in violation of section 186 of the National Internal Revenue Code is penalized under section 209 of the same Code, which violation however, be settled extrajudicially by the payment of the sum of P50 as compromise, in addition to the amount of P3,809.58 due from you.

Very respectfully,

BIBIANO L. MEER

Collector of Internal Revenue’

BY

(Sgd.) ALFREDO V. JACINTO

Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue

"7. On September 2, 1946, plaintiff answered the defendant as follows:

’The Collector of Internal Revenue

Manila

Dear Sir:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

We have your letter of the 16th ultimo demanding payment of the amount of P3,859.58 as alleged additional sales tax, surcharge and compromise due to the government.

Our books show that the amount collected by us for port charges on which the additional tax is assessed amounted to P87,069.60 and not P87,075.60 as stated in your communication and, therefore, the basic computation of the tax is incorrect.

When we paid the sales tax we considered, and still, that under the terms of our sales contracts port charges are not a part of the selling prices, so that we excluded them in figuring out our liability. As stated in our letter to you of August 8, 1946, these were merely payments incurred by us in taking the goods from the piers and delivering the articles to our customers. Before the arrival of our goods from the United States, contracts were made with our customers whereby they agreed to buy the articles C. I. F. Manila. Naturally, all port charges are for their account. As these charges were paid by us merely for the convenience of the customers, and were repaid by them, we believe that these amounts should not be included in the selling prices. Had we let the buyers take delivery of their purchases from the piers and they engaged another firm to do the job of getting the goods for them, we should not be liable for the additional tax now demanded by you. As the case now stands, just because we happened to do a favor for our customers we stand to lose and be penalized in accordance with your ruling.

We hereby reiterate our previous request to exclude the port charges in the computation of the sales tax payable by us.

Yours very truly,

MACONDRAY & CO., INC.

By

(Sgd.) CARLOS YOUNG

General Manager

"8. On January 29, 1947, defendant insisted in collecting the sum of P3,809.58, plus the amount of P50 and surcharge writing the following letter:

’Macondray & Co., Inc.,

827 R. Hidalgo

Manila

Gentlemen:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

With further reference to your pending internal revenue case, and in answer to your letter of September 2, 1946, I have the honor to inform you that the correct amount of port charges is P87,075.60 as previously communicated to you. This discrepancy was a result of a clerical error by the investigating agent.

Relative to the question raised in the third paragraph of your letter of September 2, 1946, you are further advised that, in the opinion of this office, the port charges and other expenses incurred in connection with the importation and delivery of merchandise sold to your customers are part of the gross selling price subject to the sales tax. The word ’price’ signifies the sum stipulated as the equivalent of the thing sold and also every incident taken into consideration for the fixing of the price, put to the debit of the vendee and agreed to by him. (Ynchausti & Co., v. Cromwell, 20 Phil., 245). Inasmuch as you undertook the clearing of the goods from the Bureau of Customs and delivered them to your customers and for which services you charged your customers including port charges and all other expenses, all said expenses are part of the gross selling price.

In view of the foregoing, you are again requested to pay the amount of P3,809.58 within five (5) days from your receipt of this letter, and to compromise your violation of the National Internal Revenue Code mentioned in our letter to you of August 16, 1946, by the payment of the sum of P50.00 in addition to the tax and surcharge due from you.

Very respectfully,

BIBIANO L. MEER

Collector of Internal Revenue

By

(Sgd.) ALFREDO V. JACINTO

Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue’"

En apelacion, el Secretario de Hacienda desestimo la contencion de la demandante. Para evitar ulteriores multas, ella pago en 22 de marzo de 1947, el impuesto bajo el recibo No. J-37042, y en mayo del mismo año presento su demanda pidiendo la devolucion de la cantidad pagada.

La cuestion a resolver es si lo que la demandante llama "port charges" cobrados por ella de sus parroquianos, constituyen parte del precio de venta bruta. "Port charges" o gastos de puerto son las cantidades que la demandante cobro de sus parroquianos por valor de los sellos documentales que se adhirieron a los conocimientos de embarque y gastos de transportacion desde el "pier" hasta su casa de las mercancias vendidas a ellos.

La demandante contiende que los gastos de puerto no son parte del precio de venta bruta de las mercancias, por la razon de que las vendio bajo un contrato C. I. F. Manila; que el precio de las mismas, de acuerdo con tal convenio, es una cantidad igual a su costo, seguro y flete hasta el puerto de Manila.

En los contratos C. I. F. el comprador paga solamente el costo de la mercancia y los gastos de seguro y flete. (38 Jur. Fil., 639.)

Dichas letras significan "cost, insurance and freight charges." (55 C. J., 227.)

Esta clase de contrato se celebra generalmente entre el fabricante y sus compradores directos. Es que quiere facilitar la venta de sus productos, sin intervencion de un comerciante revendedor. Pero un comerciante que se dedica al negocio de compra y venta — importa efectos y los revende — no ha de hacer esto a menos que quiera negociar sin ganancia. El que negocia espera obtener un margen razonable de beneficio.

Si el importador, demos por caso, revende un automovil a su parroquiano bajo un contrato c. i. f.,

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