Court of Tax Appeals Act: An Overview

Republic Act No. 1125 (1954) is the law that created the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA). Originally, the CTA has one division composed of a Presiding Judge and two Associate Judges. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9282 (2004), the CTA’s membership was expanded from one division to two divisions of six Justices, composed of a Presiding Justice and five Associate Justices, all of whom were given the same rank as that of the Presiding Justice and the Associates Justices, respectively, of the Court of Appeals. Republic Act No. 9282 also expanded the jurisdiction of the CTA to include, among others, jurisdiction over criminal cases.

Republic Act No. 9503 (2007) further increased the CTA’s membership to three divisions, composed of a Presiding Justice and eight Associate Justices.

Under the law, the CTA shall exercise:

(a) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review by appeal, as herein provided:

(1) Decisions of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments, refunds of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties in relation thereto, or other matters arising under the National Internal Revenue Code or other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue;

(2) Inaction by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in cases involving disputed assessments, refunds of internal revenue taxes, fees or other charges, penalties in relations thereto, or other matters arising under the National Internal Revenue Code or other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, where the National Internal Revenue Code provides a specific period of action, in which case the inaction shall be deemed a denial;

(3) Decisions, orders or resolutions of the Regional Trial Courts in local tax cases originally decided or resolved by them in the exercise of their original or appellate jurisdiction;

(4) Decisions of the Commissioner of Customs in cases involving liability for customs duties, fees or other money charges, seizure, detention or release of property affected, fines, forfeitures or other penalties in relation thereto, or other matters arising under the Customs Law or other laws administered by the Bureau of Customs;

(5) Decisions of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over cases involving the assessment and taxation of real property originally decided by the provincial or city board of assessment appeals;

(6) Decisions of the Secretary of Finance on customs cases elevated to him automatically for review from decisions of the Commissioner of Customs which are adverse to the Government under Section 2315 of the Tariff and Customs Code;

(7) Decisions of the Secretary of Trade and Industry, in the case of nonagricultural product, commodity or article, and the Secretary of Agriculture in the case of agricultural product, commodity or article, involving dumping and countervailing duties under Section 301 and 302, respectively, of the Tariff and Customs Code, and safeguard measures under Republic Act No. 8800, where either party may appeal the decision to impose or not to impose said duties.

(b) Jurisdiction over cases involving criminal offenses as herein provided:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all criminal offenses arising from violations of the National Internal Revenue Code or Tariff and Customs Code and other laws administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue or the Bureau of Customs: Provided, however, That offenses or felonies mentioned in this paragraph where the principal amount of taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and penalties, claimed is less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or where there is no specified amount claimed shall be tried by the regular Courts and the jurisdiction of the CTA shall be appellate. Any provision of law or the Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability for taxes and penalties shall at all times be simultaneously instituted with, and jointly determined in the same proceeding by the CTA, the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to reserve the filling of such civil action separately from the criminal action will be recognized.

(2) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction in criminal offenses:

(a) Over appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in tax cases originally decided by them, in their respected territorial jurisdiction.

(b) Over petitions for review of the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over tax cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective jurisdiction.

(c) Jurisdiction over tax collection cases as herein provided:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction in tax collection cases involving final and executory assessments for taxes, fees, charges and penalties: Provided, however, That collection cases where the principal amount of taxes and fees, exclusive of charges and penalties, claimed is less than One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) shall be tried by the proper Municipal Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court and Regional Trial Court.

(2) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction in tax collection cases:

(a) Over appeals from the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in tax collection cases originally decided by them, in their respective territorial jurisdiction.

(b) Over petitions for review of the judgments, resolutions or orders of the Regional Trial Courts in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction over tax collection cases originally decided by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, in their respective jurisdiction. (R.A. No. 1125, sec. 7, as amended by R.A. No. 9282)

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