SC: SOJ has jurisdiction over some tax cases


Normally, when we study taxes, we imagine that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Secretary of Finance (SOF), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) are the only agencies involved, including the local assessment boards. However, in the 2017 case of Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation v. CIR, it can be learned that the Secretary of Justice (SOJ) has jurisdiction over certain types of tax disputes.

Under Presidential Decree No. 242 (PD 242), all disputes and claims solely between government agencies and offices, including government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be administratively settled or adjudicated by the SOJ, the Solicitor General, or the Government Corporate Counsel, depending on the issues and government agencies involved. As regards cases involving only questions of law, it is the SOJ who has jurisdiction. His ruling or determination of the question in each case shall be conclusive and binding upon all the parties concerned.
(a) The Solicitor General, with respect to disputes or claims [or] controversies between or among the departments, bureaus, offices and other agencies of the National Government;
(b) The Government Corporate Counsel, with respect to disputes or claims or controversies between or among the government-owned or controlled corporations or entities being served by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel; and
(c) The SOJ, with respect to all other disputes or claims or controversies which do not fall under the categories mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b).
The purpose of PD 242 is to provide for a speedy and efficient administrative settlement or adjudication of disputes between government offices or agencies under the Executive branch, as well as to filter cases to lessen the clogged dockets of the courts. PD 242 is only applicable to disputes, claims, and controversies solely between or among the departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and where no private party is involved. In other words, PD 242 will only apply when all the parties involved are purely government offices and government-owned or controlled corporations. (PSALM v. CIR. G.R. No. 198146, August 08, 2017)

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