Petitioner was a real estate developer that bought from the national government a parcel of land that used to be the Fort Bonifacio military reservation. At the time of the said sale there was as yet no VAT imposed so Petitioner did not pay any VAT on its purchase. Subsequently, Petitioner sold two parcels of land to Metro Pacific Corp. In reporting the said sale for VAT purposes (because the VAT had already been imposed in the interim), Petitioner claimed transitional input VAT corresponding to its inventory of land. The BIR disallowed the claim of presumptive input VAT and thereby assessed Petitioner for deficiency VAT.


Is Petitioner entitled to claim the transitional input VAT on its sale of real properties given its nature as a real estate dealer and if so (i) is the transitional input VAT applied only to the improvements on the real property or is it applied on the value of the entire real property and (ii) should there have been a previous tax payment for the transitional input VAT to be creditable?


YES. Petitioner is entitled to claim transitional input VAT based on the value of not only the improvements but on the value of the entire real property and regardless of whether there was in fact actual payment on the purchase of the real property or not.

The amendments to the VAT law do not show any intention to make those in the real estate business subject to a different treatment from those engaged in the sale of other goods or properties or in any other commercial trade or business. On the scope of the basis for determining the available transitional input VAT, the CIR has no power to limit the meaning and coverage of the term "goods" in Section 105 of the Tax Code without statutory authority or basis. The transitional input tax credit operates to benefit newly VAT-registered persons, whether or not they previously paid taxes in the acquisition of their beginning inventory of goods, materials and supplies.