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Luzon Stevedoring vs Collector of Internal Revenue

G.R. No. 18316           September 23, 1922

LUZON STEVEDORING COMPANY, vs. WENCESLAO TRINIDAD, Collector of Internal Revenue,.

Facts:

Plaintiff is engaged in the stevedoring business in said city consisting of loading and unloading cargo from vessels in port, at certain rates of charge per unit of cargo; that all the work done by it is conducted under the direct supervision of the officers of the ships and under the instruction given to plaintiff’s men by the captain and officers of said ships.

The defendant alleged that during the first quarter of the year 1921 the plaintiff was engaged in business as a contractor, its gross receipts from said business during said quarter amounting to P242,281.33, and that the defendant, under the provisions of section 1462 of Act No. 2711, levied and assessed on the above-mentioned amount the percentage tax amounting to P2,422.81, which the plaintiff paid on April 18, 1921, under protest, this protest having been duly overruled by the defendant.

Issue: Is the plaintiff a contractor?

Held:

No, plaintiff is not a contractor in the sense that that word is used in said section 1462 of Act No. 2711

Although, in a general sense, every person who enters into a contract may be called a contractor, yet the word, for want of a better one, has come to be used with special reference to a person who, in the pursuit of an independent business, undertakes to do a specific piece or job or work for other persons, using his own means and methods without submitting himself to control as to the petty details. The true test of a ‘contractor’ would seem to be that he renders the service in the course of an independent occupation, representing the will of his employer only as to the result of his work, and not as to the means by which it is accomplished.”

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