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CTA dismisses PAL's petition for excise tax refund 

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The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has turned down a petition for review filed by Philippine Airlines (PAL), which sought a refund of PHP4.49 million in excise taxes for the importation of various liquors and wines as part of its in-flight and commissary supplies from October 2012 to March 2013, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

The CTA First Division denied for lack of merit the petition for review filed by PAL, according to a 23-page decision dated July 29 and written by Associate Justice Catherine Manahan.

The court said PAL failed to present sufficient and convincing evidence to prove that the imported products were not locally available “in reasonable quantity, quality or price at the time of importation”, which the court said was a condition which would have entitled the transaction to tax exemption under Presidential Decree 1590, the law that granted its franchise in June 1978.


The law required PAL to pay corporate income tax in lieu of all other taxes, duties, royalties, registration, license, and other fees and charges.

The exemption included commissary and catering supplies “provided that such articles or materials are imported for the use of PAL in its transport operations and other activities incidental thereto and are not locally available”.

“Tax refunds are in the nature of tax exemptions, and are to be construed against the entity claiming the same. Thus, the burden of proof rests upon the taxpayer to establish by sufficient and competent evidence its entitlement to a claim for refund. Petitioner, unfortunately, failed to discharge this burden,” the court ruled.

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