BDP Law Offices’ Atty. Presto on Successful CTA Cases
Bernaldo, Directo, and Po Law Offices, also known as BDP law offices, handles a broad range of legal matters from labor cases, arbitration, tax cases, civil cases, and criminal cases. Most of its cases are tax cases which can be classified into two, namely the administrative level which is handled by Atty. Pepito Po and the judicial level which is handled by Atty. Christopher Presto.
According to Atty. Presto, “Right now, in general, we are handling tax cases in terms of tax assessment and refund. And the tax assessment may pertain to local government tax, regional revenue district tax, or the large taxpayers’ assessments. Once it has been denied or there was an issue when the BIR does not agree with the position of the taxpayer before an administrative level, that’s the time when we file a case to the Court of Tax Appeals. Usually, an assessment bears an issue on the denial called “Denial of the Protest on the Assessment”, that’s the time when the taxpayer may file an appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals in Quezon City. The other one is the refund. The refund as a rule must be filed administratively that’s why it is being handled by Atty. Po since it is not yet a CTA case. If the refund was denied then it will also be filed on the Court of Tax Appeals.”
Tax cases usually take three to five years, depending whether it can be resolved at the Court of Tax Appeals or if it will proceed to the Supreme Court. Currently, BDP Law Offices, particularly Atty. Presto, is handling more or less 50 tax cases.
“In all humility, we have a good standing with respect to tax cases either assessment or refund because we consider a case successful in matters of assessment in the event that our petition or the assessment has been reduced substantially. For example, assuming that the assessment was 100 million and we were able to reduce it to four (4) million then we consider it as a favorable decision because normally, we cannot say that the assessment is totally canceled. We would usually provide the taxpayer an initial assessment before it’s being resolved in the court... Normally, a taxpayer would rely on the lawyer’s advice so we give them an honest opinion”, Atty. Presto said.
Also, according to Atty. Presto, their office’s success is purely through team effort, proper research, updates on the jurisprudence, updates on the revenue regulations of the BIR, and updates on law. All of these efforts summing up is the main factor of their success.
As a message to all taxpayers, Atty Presto said that, “If you feel that the assessment is really unreasonable or unfair, you have to resort to an advice of a tax expert or a tax consultant so that your interest will be properly protected. Now, if the assessment really has a basis, you must also agree with the advice of a lawyer or a counsel because at the end of the day, there will be a cost that you will entail particularly before the effectivity of the TRAIN law because the imposition of taxes before is quite big like 20% per annum interest. You have to pay your taxes properly but if you think your taxes were unreasonable then you have to protect your right through proper consultation, advice, and remedy.”