Characteristics of the power to tax

The power to tax is comprehensive, unlimited, plenary and supreme.

"There is no vested right in a tax exemption, more so when the latest expression of legislative intent renders its continuance doubtful. Being a mere statutory privilege, a tax exemption may be modified or withdrawn at will by the granting authority. To state otherwise is to limit the taxing power of the State, which is unlimited, plenary, comprehensive and supreme. The power to impose taxes is one so unlimited in force and so searching in extent, it is subject only to restrictions which rest on the discretion of the authority exercising it." (G.R. No. 168584. October 15, 2007)

It is comprehensive because it covers all persons, activities, businesses, professions, rights and privileges. It is unlimited because the only limitation is the responsibility of the legislature which imposes tax to the the constituents who pay it. It is plenary because it is a not incomplete. The government may avail of valid remedies to make sure that tax is collected. It is supreme because whatever subject may be selected to pay the tax.