G. R. No. 160756. March 9, 2010
Petitioner assails the validity of the imposition of minimum corporate income tax (MCIT) on corporations and creditable withholding tax (CWT) on sales of real properties classified as ordinary assets.
Petitioner argues that the MCIT under Section 27(E) of RA 8424 is unconstitutional because it is highly oppressive, arbitrary and confiscatory which amounts to deprivation of property without due process of law. It explains that gross income as defined under said provision only considers the cost of goods sold and other direct expenses; other major expenditures, such as administrative and interest expenses which are equally necessary to produce gross income, were not taken into account. Thus, pegging the tax base of the MCIT to a corporation’s gross income is tantamount to a confiscation of capital because gross income, unlike net income, is not “realized gain.”
the collection of CWT on the sale of real properties categorized as ordinary assets is contrary to law as (a) they ignore the different treatment by RA 8424 of ordinary assets and capital assets and second; (b) Secretary of Finance has no authority to collect CWT, much less, to base the CWT on the gross selling price or fair market value of the real properties classified as ordinary assets.
Whether the tax base of the MCIT to a corporation’s gross income is tantamount to a confiscation of capital because gross income unlike net income is not realized gain
NO. For income to be taxable, the following requisites must exist:
- there must be gain;
- the gain must be realized or received and
- the gain must not be excluded by law or treaty from taxation.
Certainly, an income tax is arbitrary and confiscatory if it taxes capital because capital is not income. In other words, it is income, not capital, which is subject to income tax. However, the MCIT is not a tax on capital.
The MCIT is imposed on gross income which is arrived at by deducting the capital spent by a corporation in the sale of its goods, i.e., the cost of goods and other direct expenses from gross sales. Clearly, the capital is not being taxed. Furthermore, the MCIT is not an additional tax imposition. It is imposed in lieu of the normal net income tax, and only if the normal income tax is suspiciously low. The MCIT merely approximates the amount of net income tax due from a corporation, pegging the rate at a very much reduced 2% and uses as the base the corporation’s gross income.
In sum, petitioner failed to support, by any factual or legal basis, its allegation that the MCIT is arbitrary and confiscatory. The Court cannot strike down a law as unconstitutional simply because of its yokes. Taxation is necessarily burdensome because, by its nature, it adversely affects property rights. The party alleging the law’s unconstitutionality has the burden to demonstrate the supposed violations in understandable terms