Monday, November 4, 2013

Case Digest: G.R. No. 78780. July 23, 1987. 152 SCRA 284

David G. Nitafan, Wenceslao M. Polo, and Maximo A. Savellano, Jr., petitioners, vs. Commissioner Of Internal Revenue and The Financial Officer, Supreme Court Of The Philippines, respondents.

Facts: Petitioners, the duly appointed and qualified Judges presiding over Branches 52, 19 and 53, respectively, of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, all with stations in Manila, seek to prohibit and/or perpetually enjoin respondents, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Financial Officer of the Supreme Court, from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries.

Issue: Whether or not members of the Judiciary are exempt from income taxes.

Ruling: Yes. The Court held that the salaries of Justices and Judges are properly subject to a general income tax law applicable to all income earners and that the payment of such income tax by Justices and Judges does not fall within the constitutional protection against decrease of their salaries during their continuance in office and the ruling that "the imposition of income tax upon the salary of judges is a diminution thereof, and so violates the Constitution" in Perfecto vs. Meer, as affirmed in Endencia vs. David must be declared discarded. The framers of the fundamental law, as the alter ego of the people, have expressed in clear and unmistakable terms the meaning and import of Section 10, Article VIII, of the 1987 Constitution that they have adopted.

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