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SEC. 218. Injunction not Available to Restrain Collection of Tax. - No court shall have the authority to grant an injunction to restrain the collection of any national internal revenue tax, fee or charge imposed by this Code.

Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Cebu Portland Cement Co.

G.R. No. L-29059, 15 December 1987

Facts: CTA decision ordered the petitioner CIR to refund to the Cebu Portland Cement Company, respondent, P 359,408.98 representing overpayments of ad valorem taxes on cement sold by it. Execution of judgement was opposed by the petitioner citing that private respondent had an outstanding sales tax liability to which the judgment debt had already been credited. In fact, there was still a P4 M plus balance they owed. The Court of Tax Appeals, in holding that the alleged sales tax liability of the private respondent was still being questioned and therefore could not be set-off against the refund, granted private respondent's motion. The private respondent questioned the assessed tax based on Article 186 of the Tax Code, contending that cement was adjudged a mineral and not a manufactured product; and thusly they were not liable for their alleged tax deficiency. Thereby, petitioner filed this petition for review. Issue: Whether or not assessment of taxes can be enforced even if there is a case contesting it.

Held: The argument that the assessment cannot as yet be enforced because it is still being contested loses sight of the urgency of the need to collect taxes as "the lifeblood of the government." If the payment of taxes could be postponed by simply questioning their validity, the machinery of the state would grind to a halt and all government functions would be paralyzed. That is the reason why, save for the exception in RA 1125 , the Tax Code provides that injunction is not available to restrain collection of tax. Thereby, we hold that the respondent Court of Tax Appeals erred in its order.
1915) Trent J


Plaintiffs put up a billboard on private land in Rizal Province "quite a distance from the road and strongly built". Some residents (German and British Consuls) find it offensive. Act # 2339 allows the defendent, the Collector of Internal Revenue, to collect taxes from such property and to remove it when it is offensive to sight. Court of first Instance prohibited the defendant to collect or remove the billboard.


1.May the courts restrain by injunction the collection of taxes?

2.Is Act # 2339 unconstitutional because it deprives property without due process of law in allowing CIR to remove it if it is offensive?


1.an injunction is an extraordinary remedy and not to be used if there is an adequate remedy provided by law; here there is an adequate remedy, therefore court may not do so.

2.unsightly advertisements which are offensive to the sight are not dissociated from the general welfare of the public, therefore can be regulated by police power, and act is constitutional.


1.Writ of injunction by the courts is an extraordinary preventive remedy. Ordinary (adequate) remedies are in the law itself. Sections 139 and 140 of the Act forbids the use of injunction and provides a remedy for any wrong. _Plaintiffs say that those sections are unconstitutional because by depriving taxpayers remedy, it also deprives them of property without due process of law and it diminishes the power of the courts_. Taxes, whether legal or illegal, cannot be restrained by the courts by injunction. There must be a further showing that there are special circumstances such as irreparable injury, multiplicity of suits or a cloud upon title to real estate will result. Practically, if the courts can do so then there will be an insane number of suits enjoining the collection of taxes by tax avoiders. The state will not function since taxes are not paid (and judges will become unpaid!). There is, of course, no law nor jurisprudence that says it is not allowed to sue after having paid the tax, and such is the usual course in bringing suits against illegal(?) taxes. Pay it under protest. As to the diminishment of power of the courts, the Philippine courts never had the power to restrain the collection of taxes by injunction. It is said par 2 sec 56 Act 136 confers original jurisdiction upon CFI to hear and determine all civil actions but civil actions at that time had a well-defined meaning. The legislature had already defined the only action previously and that is the payment of the tax under protest then suit. Civil actions like injunction suits are of a special extraordinary character. Section 139 also does not diminish power of the courts because the power is still there if there is no adequate remedy available but sec 140 gives an adequate remedy.

2.sec 100 of act 2339 gives power to the CIR to remove offensive billboards, signs, signboards after due invstigation. The question becomes is that a reasonable exercise of police power affecting the advertising industry? Police power is reasonable insofar as it properly considers public health, safety, comfort, etc. If nothing can justify a statute, it's void. State may interfere in public interest but not final. Court is final. Police power has been expanding. blahblahblah (consti1). The basic idea of civil polity in US is gov't should interfere with individual effort only to the extent necessary to preserve a healthy social and economic condition of society. State interferes with private property through, taxation, eminent domain and police power. Only under the last are the benefits derived from the maintenance of a healthy economic standard of society and aka damnum absque injuria. Once police power was reserved for common nuisances. Now industry is organized along lines which make it possible for large combinations of capital to profit at the expense of socio-economic progress of the nation by controlling prices and dictating to industrial workers wages and conditions of labor. It has increased the toll on life and affects public health, safety and morals, also general social and economic life of the nation, as such state must necessarily regulate industries. Various industries have regulated and even offensive noises and smells coming from those industries. Those noises and smells though ostensibly regulated for health reason are actually regulated for more aesthetic reasons. What is more aesthetic than sight which the ad industry is wooing us with. Ads cover landscapes etc. The success of billboards lie not upon the use of private property but on channels of travel used by the general public. Billboard that cannot be seen by people are useless. Billboards are legitimate, they are not garbage but can be offensive in certain circumstances. Other courts in US hold the view that police power cannot interfere with private property rights for purely aesthetic purposes. But this court is of the opinion that unsightly advertisements which are offensive to the sight are not dissociated from the general welfare of the public.