2016 (Taxation) Bar Exam Questions: Question 14

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Taxation Instructions; 2016 Labor Law Questions:   123456789101112131516171819, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

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Lucky V Corporation (Lucky) owns a IO-storey building on a 2,000 square meter lot in the City of Makati. It sold the lot and building to Rainier. for P80 million. One month after, Rainier sold the lot and building to Healthy Smoke Company (HSC) for P200 million. Lucky filed its annual tax return and declared its gain from the sale ofthe lot and building in the amount ofP750,000.00.

An investigation conducted by the BIR revealed that two months prior to the sale ofthe properties to Rainier, Lucky received P40 million from HSC and not from Rainier. Said amount ofP40 million was debited by HSC and reflected in its trial balance as “other inv. – Lucky Bldg.” The month after, another P40 million was reflected in HSC’s trial balance as “other inv. – Lucky Bldg.” The BIR concluded that there is tax evasion since the real buyer ofthe properties of Lucky is HSC and not Rainier. It issued an assessment for deficiency income tax in the amount of P79 million against Lucky. Lucky argues that it resorted to tax avoidance or a tax saving device, which is allowed by the NIRC and BIR rules since it paid the correct taxes based on its sale to Rainier. On the other hand, Rainier and HSC also paid the prescribed taxes arising from the sale by Rainier to HSC. Is the BIR correct in assessing taxes on Lucky? Explain. (5%)

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