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COA lifts P95M charge on Cagayan black sand miners

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by Allan Yves Briones

“The issuance of the NC (Notice of Charge) was premature considering that the auditors failed to consider the assessment period and assessment procedure of the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue).”

In a decision promulgated June 11, the Commission on Audit (COA) Commission Proper lifted a P94.8 million charge on 13 black sand mining companies for failure to follow procedure.

COA explained that the collection of taxes was under BIR’s jurisdiction, not their auditors.

“The amount of excise taxes payable by the mining companies had yet to be verified/computed against actual payments and corresponding assessment made by the BIR officers concerned, in accordance with the BIR rules and regulations,” the Commission Proper said.

“No final tax assessment was issued yet by the BIR against the respective mining companies that could be a basis for audit and issuance of a Notice of Charge (NC),” it added.

Named in the notice were Efren Gannaban, Alpha Infinite Vision, Cagayan Great Mines, Feiron Steel Inc., Global Exploration Mining Development, Golden Sea Miners, Huaxia Mining, Julio Dicierto, Lian Sing Philippines Stone, Lutra, San You Phil., Unic 101 and Well Resource Mining Inc.

From 2011 to 2013, these 13 individuals and companies allegedly failed to pay taxes in the amount of P94.8 million, according to the BIR.

The regional COA office disclosed some time after that the BIR was only able to collect P16.9 million from the total amount owed, which prompted the issuance of an NC.

“Thus, there is a deficiency of P94,801,948.73. Despite this deficiency, the BIR issued excise tax clearance certificates to the mining companies,” the decision read.

In their petition, BIR executives argued COA’s lack of jurisdiction prior to the issuance of a filing ruling by the revenue bureau, to which COA agreed.

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