CIR vs. Algue, Inc., 158 SCRA 9 (1988) G.R. No. L-28896 February 17, 1988

Fact: The petitioner contends that the claimed deduction of P75,000.00 was properly disallowed because it was not an ordinary reasonable or necessary business expense. The Court of Tax Appeals had seen it differently. Agreeing with Algue, it held that the said amount had been legitimately paid by the private respondent for actual services rendered. The payment was in the form of promotional fees. These were collected by the Payees for their work in the creation of the Vegetable Oil Investment Corporation of the Philippines and its subsequent purchase of the properties of the Philippine Sugar Estate Development Company. The petitioner had Originally claimed these promotional fees to be personal holding company income but later conformed to the decision of the respondent court rejecting this assertion. In fact, as the said court found, the amount was earned through the joint efforts of the persons among whom it was distributed It has been established that the Philippine Sugar Estate Development Company had earlier appointed Algue as its agent, authorizing it to sell its land, factories and oil manufacturing process. Pursuant to such authority, Alberto Guevara, Jr., Eduardo Guevara, Isabel Guevara, Edith, O’Farell, and Pablo Sanchez, worked for the formation of the Vegetable Oil Investment Corporation, inducing other persons to invest in it.14 Ultimately, after its incorporation largely through the promotion of the said persons, this new corporation purchased the PSEDC properties.15 For this sale, Algue received as agent a commission of P126,000.00, and it was from this commission that the P75,000.00 promotional fees were paid to the aforenamed individuals. The petitioner claims that these payments are fictitious because most of the payees are members of the same family in control of Algue. It is argued that no indication was made as to how such payments were made, whether by check or in cash, and there is not enough substantiation of such payments. In short, the petitioner suggests a tax dodge, an attempt to evade a legitimate assessment by involving an imaginary deduction.

Issue: Whether the Promotional Expense Disallowed by the CIR Valid?

Held: No, the court agreed that the respondent promotional fee was a valid deductable. The total commission paid by the Philippine Sugar Estate Development Co. according to the Tax Code, Expenses In general are All the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business, including a reasonable allowance for salaries or other compensation for personal services actually rendered. The amount of P75,000.00 was 60% of the total commission. This was a reasonable proportion, considering that it was the payees who did practically everything, from the formation of the Vegetable Oil Investment Corporation to the actual purchase by it of the Sugar Estate properties. That the private respondent has proved that the payment of the fees was necessary and reasonable in the light of the efforts exerted by the payees in inducing investors and prominent businessmen to venture in an experimental enterprise and involve themselves in a new business requiring millions of pesos. This was no mean feat and should be, as it was, sufficiently recompensed.

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