By Jun Ramirez
A gold trader has been acquitted by the Court of Tax Appeals in the P110-million tax evasion case for the failure of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
In a 56-page decision, the CTA’s Second Decision said the BIR was not able to present evidence to counter the argument of Rashdi Camlian Sakaluran that he did not receive any assessment notice about his tax debts.
It noted the prosecution was unable to submit during the trial proved that the preliminary and final demand notices were either received personally or through registered mail.
The court said the BIR should have presented a certification issued by Bureau of Posts that the registry return cards were received and signed by the accused.
“The BIR cannot proceed heedlessly with tax collection without the valid assessment,” said Associate Justice Juanito Castaneda, Jr., who penned the decision.
He added that it is a cardinal principle in the administrative investigation that a taxpayer should be informed of the charges and submit supporting documents.
The case arose from the sales of gold by the businessman to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in 2006 to 2009.
The BIR claimed Rashdi, owner of Rymajeli Money Changer, did not declare in his income tax returns proceeds from the sales of the precious metal.