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tax under Section 142 thereof now renumbered as Section 145 of the Tax Code of 1997. To implement the provisions for a twelve percent (12%) increase of excise tax on cigars and cigarettes packed by machines by January 1, 2000, the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue, issued Revenue Regulations No. 17-99, dated December 16, 1999: “RR No. 17-99 likewise provides in the last paragraph of Section 1 thereof, "that the new specific tax rate for any existing brand of cigars, cigarettes packed by machine, distilled spirits, wines and fermented liquor shall not be lower than the excise tax that is actually being paid prior to January 1, 2000." Petitioner filed a claim for tax credit or refund under Section 229 of the NIRC for erroneously or illegally collected specific taxes covering the period June to December 31, 2004 in the total amount of Php219,566,450.00. Petitioner filed a Petition for Review which was raffled to the Former First Division of this Court. After trial on the merits, the Former First Division of this Court rendered the assailed Decision, which consistently ruled that RR 17-99 is contrary to law and that there is insufficiency of evidence on the claim for refund. Petitioner elevated its claim to the CTA En Banc,but was rebuffed after the tax tribunal found no cause to reverse the findings and conclusions of the CTA Division. ISSUE: Whether or not there is sufficient evidence to warrant the grant of petitioner's claim for tax refund? RULING: Petition of Petitioner is denied. Petitioner failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove its claim and the amount thereof. Petitioner relied heavily on photocopied documents to prove its claim.The other documentary evidence submitted by petitioner was refused admission for being merely photocopies. In this case, petitioner did not even attempt to provide a plausible reason as to why the original copies of the documents presented could not be produced before the CTA or any reason that the application of any of the foregoing exceptions could be justified. Although petitioner presented one (1) witness to prove its claim, it appears that this witness was not even a signatory to any of the disputed documentary evidence. Petitioner's evidence, even if considered, fails to prove that it is entitled to its claim for refund. Clearly, it is petitioner's burden to prove the allegations made in its claim for refund. For a claim for refund to be granted, the manner in proving it must be in accordance with the prescribed rules of evidence. It would have been erroneous had the CTA En Banc relied on petitioner's own Excise Tax Refund Computation Summary or the unsatisfactory explanation of its lone witness to justify its claim for tax refund.
This Court is simply pointing to the rule that claims for refunds are the exception, rather than the rule, and that each claim for refund, in order to be granted, must be clearly set forth and established in accordance with the rules of evidence.