MANILA -- The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has turned down the petition for review filed by government prosecutors in seeking to pursue the criminal tax evasion complaint against former senatorial candidate Prospero A. Pichay, Jr.

In a decision dated December 6, the tax court through Associate Justice Esperanza R. Fabon-Victorino denied for lack of merit the government's petition and affirmed its earlier resolutions dismissing the charges.

"(I)t was clear that the BIR's computation of respondent's (Pichay)'s tax liability was without factual basis as it was merely based on presumption that he earned income in 2009 in the amount of PHP55,446,797 which in the first place was not proved," the CTA said.

The court said a tax assessment "should not be based on mere presumptions no matter how reasonable or logical said presumptions may be. The assessment must be based on actual facts. The presumption cannot be made to rest on another presumption".

A tax assessment fixes and determines the liability of a taxpayer. As soon as it is served, an obligation arises on the part of the taxpayer concerned to pay the amount assessed and demanded.

Associate Justices Roman G. Del Rosario, Juanito C. Castaneda,Jr., Erlinda P. Uy, Cielito N. Mindaro-Grulla, Ma. Belen M. Ringpis-Liban, Catherine T. Manahan, Jean Marie A. Bacorro-Villena and Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro. concurred. (PNA)