Taxpayer's remedy to file written protest vs. assessment; Writ of mandamus

For mandamus to lie, petitioner must comply with Section 3 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court which provides:

SEC. 3. Petition for Mandamus. -- When any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent, immediately or at some other time to be specified by the court, to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of the petitioner and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the respondent.
In the case at bar, the condition that there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law is absent.

Under Section 195 of the Local Government Code which is quoted immediately below, a taxpayer who disagrees with a tax assessment made by a local treasurer may file a written protest thereof:

SECTION 195. Protest of Assessment. When the local treasurer or his duly authorized representative finds that the correct taxes, fees, or charges have not been paid, he shall issue a notice of assessment stating the nature of the tax, fee, or charge, the amount of deficiency, the surcharges, interests and penalties. Within sixty (60) days from the receipt of the notice of assessment, the taxpayer may file a written protest with the local treasurer contesting the assessment; otherwise, the assessment shall become final and executory. The local treasurer shall decide the protest within sixty (60) days from the time of its filing. If the local treasurer finds the protest to be wholly or partly meritorious, he shall issue a notice cancelling wholly or partially the assessment. However, if the local treasurer finds the assessment to be wholly or partly correct, he shall deny the protest wholly or partly with notice to the taxpayer. The taxpayer shall have thirty (30) days from the receipt of the denial of the protest or from the lapse of the sixty-day (60) period prescribed herein within which to appeal with the court of competent jurisdiction, otherwise the assessment becomes conclusive and unappealable.

That petitioner protested in writing against the assessment of tax due and the basis thereof is on record as in fact it was on that account that respondent sent him the above-quoted July 15, 2005 letter which operated as a denial of petitioners written protest.

Petitioner should thus have, following the earlier above-quoted Section 195 of the Local Government Code, either appealed the assessment before the court of competent jurisdiction or paid the tax and then sought a refund. (G.R. No. 174617; December 27, 2007)

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