P178-M LOCAL TRANSFER TAX
SUAL—It’s not over till it’s over.
This is the stance being taken by TeaM Sual Corporation (TSC) on the recent court decision ordering it to pay P178 million to the provincial government of Pangasinan for local transfer tax as the new owner of the coal-fired power plant here.
A TSC official said the corporation will take all the legal remedies available to it, including the filing of a motion for reconsideration, to seek a reversal of the court’s ruling.
“With all due respect to the position of the provincial government–our valued partner in the development of Pangasinan–It is TeaM Sual Corporation’s position that no transfer taxes are due because Mirant Sual Corporation and TeaM Sual Corporation are one and the same entity and no transfer of real property was involved,” said Froilan Gregory Romualdez III, head of external affairs of TeaM Energy, in a statement on March 6.
Romualdez assured that TeaM Sual is a responsible corporate entity that settles its rightful tax obligations in a timely manner but added, “We reiterate our stand that transfer taxes are not applicable in this particular instance.”
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Lingayen, in a decision signed on February 10, 2016 by RTC Branch 37 Acting Judge Jaime L. Dojillo, Jr., had dismissed Civil Case No. 19095 filed by the TSC against the Province of Pangasinan for the annulment of assessment for local transfer tax and instead resolved that the transfer tax be paid to the provincial government of Pangasinan.
The TSC had argued that Mirant Sual and Team Sual refer to ‘one and the same corporation’ and that the sale of Mirant (US) of its shares in Mirant Acia Pacific Limited based in Bermuda to CrimsonPower, a joint venture of Tokyo and Marubeni, was only a sale of shares of stocks which did not affect the corporate identity of the corporation.
On the other hand, the provincial government argued that the present TSC is a ‘new corporation after the consortium of Tokyo Electric Company International B.V. and Marubeni Corporation completed the purchase of all the business of Mirant Corporation in the Philippines including the Sual Coal Fired Thermal Power plant based in Sual town.
The court decided that all properties including machineries, buildings, improvements and all collective possessions of Mirant Sual were transferred under a new set of owners, which is now the TSC. (Tita Roces)
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