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[G.R. No. 33139. October 11, 1930. ]


Attorney-General Jaranilla for Appellant.

Jose Ma. Cavanna for Appellees.


1. INCOME TAX; PAYMENT OF, BY HEIRS OF DECEDENT — Claims for income tax need not be filed with the committee on claims and appraisals appointed in the course of testate proceedings, and the amount thereof may be collected after the distribution of the decedent’s estate among his heirs, who shall be liable therefor in proportion to their share in the inheritance.



This is an appeal taken by the Government of the Philippine Islands from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila dismissing its complaint and absolving the defendants, without costs.

In support of the appeal the following alleged errors have been assigned to the court below in its judgment:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"1. The lower court erred in holding that the failure of the plaintiff to file its claim with the committee on claims and appraisals barred it from collecting the tax in question in this action.

"2. The lower court erred in holding that this case is governed by the principle laid down in the case of the Government of the Philippine Islands v. Inchausti & Co. (24 Phil., 315).

"3. The lower court erred in absolving the defendants from the complaint and in denying the plaintiff’s motion for new trial."cralaw virtua1aw library

The present case was submitted to the court below upon the following agreed statement of facts:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"I. That on February 27, 1920, Florentino Pamintuan, represented by J. V. Ramirez or his attorney-in-fact charged with the administration of his property, filed income-tax return for the year 1919, paying the amount of P672.99 on the basis of said return, and the additional sum of P151.01 as a result of a subsequent assessment received from the Collector of Internal Revenue.

"II. That on April 13, 1925, Florentino Pamintuan died in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., leaving the defendants herein as his heirs.

"III. That on April 24, 1925, intestate proceedings were instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila in civil case No. 27948, intestate of the late Florentino Pamintuan.

"IV. That on April 28, 1925, the Court of First Instance of Manila appointed Maximo de la Paz and Candido Ilagan commissioners of appraisal of the property left by the deceased Pamintuan, the said appointees taking their oaths of office on May 4 and May 9, 1925, respectively, and letters of appointment to the committee on claims and appraisals were made on May 9, 1925.

"V. That the said committee on claims and appraisals after the publications of the notices required by law held the necessary sessions in accordance with said notices for the presentation and determination of all claims and credits against the estate of the deceased Pamintuan.

"VI. That on December 1, 1925, the above-mentioned committee rendered its report which was duly approved by the court, and in which report it appears that the only claims presented and that were approved were those of Tomasa Centeno, Jose, Paz, Caridad, and Natividad Pamintuan and Cavanna, Aboitiz and Agan.

"VII. That on June 12, 1926, Jose V. Ramirez, the duly appointed judicial administrator of the estate of the deceased Florentino Pamintuan presented a proposed partition of the decedent’s estate which proposed partition was approved by the court on July 6, 1926, the court ordering the delivery to the heirs, the defendants herein, of their respective shares of the inheritance after paying the corresponding inheritance taxes which were duly paid on September 2, 1926, in the amount of P25,047.19 as appears on the official receipt No. 4421361.

"VIII. That the defendants herein inherited from the deceased Florentino Pamintuan in the following proportions: Tomasa Pamintuan inherited 0.0571 per cent of the decedent’s estate and the other defendants 0.0784 per cent each according to the partition approved by the court in civil case No. 27948.

"IX. That during the pendency of the intestate proceedings, the administrator filed income-tax returns or the estate of the deceased corresponding to the years 1925 and 1926.

"X. That the intestate proceedings in civil case NO. 27948 were definitely closed on October 27, 1926, by order of the court of the same date.

"XI. That subsequent to the distribution of the decedent’s estate to the defendants herein, that is, on February 16, 1927, the plaintiff discovered the fact that the deceased Florentino Pamintuan has not paid the amount of four hundred and sixty-two pesos (P462) as additional income tax and surcharge for the calendar year 1919, on account of the sale made by him on November 14, 1919, of his house and lot located at 922 M. H. del Pilar, Manila, from which sale he realized a net profit or income of P11,000, which was not included in his income-tax return filed for said year 1919.

"XII. That the defendants cannot disprove that the deceased Florentino Pamintuan made a profit of P11,000 in the sale of the house referred to in paragraph XI hereof because they have destroyed the voluminous records and evidences regarding the sale in question and other similar transactions which might show repairs on the house, commission, and other expenses tending to reduce the profit obtained as mentioned above.

"XIII. That demand for the payment of the income tax referred to herein was made on February 24, 1927, on the defendants but they refused and still refuse to pay the same either in full or in part."cralaw virtua1aw library

With regard to the first assignment of error, this court held in Pineda v. Court of First Instance of Tayabas and Collector of Internal Revenue (52 Phil., 803):jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"To reply to these contentions in turn, we observe that, while there are a few courts that have expressed themselves to the effect that a claim for taxes due to the Government should be presented like other claims to the committee appointed for the purpose of passing upon claims, the clear weight of judicial authority is to the effect that claims for taxes and assessments, whether assessed before or after the death of the decedent, are not required to be presented to the committee. (24 C. J., 325; People v. Olvera, 43 Cal., 492; Hancock v. Whittemore, 50 Cal., 522; Findley v. Taylor, 97 Iowa, 420; Bogue v. Laughlin, 149 Wis., 271; 40 L. R. A. [N.S. ], 927; Ann. Cas. 1913 C., p. 1367.)"

See also In re Estate of Frank H. Goulette (G. R. No. 32361, 1 decide on September 22, 1930.

The administration proceedings of the late Florentino Pamintuan having been closed, and his estate distributed among his heirs, the defendants herein, the latter are responsible for the payment of the income tax here in question in proportion to the share of each in said estate, in accordance with section 731 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the doctrine of this court laid down in Lopez v. Enriquez (16 Phil., 336), as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"ESTATE; LIABILITY OF HEIRS AND DISTRIBUTEES. — Heirs are not required to respond with their own property for the debts of their deceased ancestors. But even after the partition of an estate, heirs and distributees are liable individually for the payment of all lawful outstanding claims against the estate in proportion to the amount or value of the property they have respectively received from the estate. The hereditary property consists only of that part which remains after the settlement of all lawful claims against the estate, for the settlement of which the entire estate is first liable. The heirs cannot, by any act of their own or by agreement among themselves, reduce the creditors’ security for the payment of their claims. (Pavia v. De la Rosa, 8 Phil., 70; secs. 731, 749, Code of Civil Procedure; art. 1257, Civil Code.)"

For the reasons stated, we are of opinion and so hold that claims for income taxes need not be filed with the committee on claims and appraisals appointed in the course of testate proceedings and may be collected even after the distribution of the decedent’s estate among his heirs, who shall be liable therefor in proportion to their share in the inheritance.

Wherefore let the defendants pay the plaintiff the sum of P462, with 1 per centum monthly interest from August 19, 1927 until fully paid, as follows: Tomasa Centeno 0.0571 per cent, and each of the other defendants 0.0784 per cent, with costs against the appellees. So ordered.

Avanceña, C.J., Street, Malcolm, Ostrand, Johns and Romualdez, JJ., concur.


1. Whitney v. Collector of Internal Revenue, not reported.

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