Roundtable Discussion on International Best Practices on Tax Mediation
On October 18, 2013, the PHILJA conducted a Roundtable Discussion on International Best Practices on Tax Mediation upon the request of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) in coordination with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American Bar Association-Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI). CTA justices and other stakeholders comprising SC and PHILJA officials/PMCO Execom members; representatives from USAID/ABA-ROLI, Department of Finance, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Agriculture, Office of the Solicitor General, Tax Management Association of the Philippines; and prospective CTA mediators discussed the mediation of tax cases in other jurisdictions and its applicability in the Philippine setting.
Mr. Daniel Yamshon, a member of the California State Bar and an ADR practitioner, and Mr. Mark D. Allison, a member of the New York State Bar and of the US Tax Court, were the lead discussants on the topics lessons learned in international considerations in tax court-related ADR and US tax mediation best practices.In the open forum that followed, two important challenges facing tax mediation surfaced: (a) lack of authority of the government agents to compromise, and (b) the existing tax legislation which vested the authority to compromise tax liabilities with the BIR Commissioner and the Evaluation Board as regards tax cases, as well as with the Secretary of Finance. To address these concerns, the participants suggested the following remedies: consider mediation in CTA as a conduct of mediation under the Rules of Court and not under the provisions of NIRC; and to add the rules on Judicial Dispute Resolution to the implementing rules on mediation in the CTA.