BIR Registration for Filipino Freelancers: How I Did It

BIR Registration for Filipino Freelancers: How I Did It

It hasn’t been long since I started dreaming of working as an online freelancer. Now that I’m living the lifestyle of one, I came to realize the things that some employees usually take for granted – one of those is registering and filing your taxes. Yup. When you’re employed, your HR/Admin manager/staff takes care of these things for you. All you have to do is focus on your job. For us freelancers, we have to do these things ourselves. In this post, I will show you how I faced the whole BIR registration process.

While some freelancers don’t even bother with taxes and other contributions, it is still our duty as Filipinos to pay taxes and avoid paying for future consequences. I won’t be lecturing you here with our law and qualifications if you should pay or not. Just look it up. 🙂

I have read countless blog posts on how to register myself from being previously employed to a freelancer or in other words, a self-employed professional, but I still felt uneasy and the requirements asked from me were slightly different. Another realization I’ve made is that a lot of the older people, especially those working in the government are still not aware of this kind of work and profession so it’s hard to keep explaining to them each time. C’mon, It’s 2017. 🙂

BIR Registration for Filipino Freelancers: The Experience

Relying on the knowledge I got from reading blog posts, I still went to the BIR to inquire for the requirements and procedure just in case because I anticipated that my experience will be different. By the way, my RDO is here in Legazpi City, Albay.

I went to the officer of the day and said:
“Good afternoon po. Magpapa-change status po ako from employed to self-employed professional.” 

That’s the exact thing I said because I was kinda nervous if they would not know the term “Freelancer”, “online freelancer”, “online work”, etc. and if they would require me to secure a DTI certificate, Mayor’s Permit and ask so many questions. I read other experiences went like that. Sheesh…

Good things is, I was lucky with the officer of the day and my RDO. They know these things! *claps, claps some more*

Here are the requirements asked from me:

  1. PTR (Professional Tax Receipt) – Php200, 1 copy
    • To get this, you need a Community Tax Certificate (Cedula) – Php132.50
    • I got both at our City Hall-Treasurer’s Office
  2. Birth Certificate or any gov’t issued ID – 1 copy
    • I submitted a birth certificate because I already had loads of copies. lol.
  3. BIR Form 1901 – 2 of this
  4. BIR Form 0605 – 3 of this, basically 4. – Prepare Php500
    • In my case, the officer gave me 3 copies but they may just give you one and ask you to have it photocopied.
    • Bank took 2 copies. I kept my own and had it photocopied. Don’t submit your original.
  5. Documentary Stamp – Php15, just 1

*** 6. Form 1905 – only if you were previously registered to a different RDO. This doesn’t apply to me but I’m just stating this here for your reference.

While talking to the officer, I already had the forms and birth certificate prepared. I just needed to secure a PTR before I submit everything. You can just ask the officer how you’re going to fill out the forms. They will check the appropriate ones while talking to you.

Prepare to go back and forth, up and down

Soooo…yeah. I had to commute back and forth because the offices aren’t in the same building.  :/

Once I got back with my PTR, I had my requirements checked. I then needed to pay the annual registration fee (Php500) using Form 0605 at BIR’s partner/authorized agent banks. Yes, you will have to go out again and come back (It was a hot day). I had three copies of the form and the bank took the other two copies. You can ask the BIR officer for the list of banks but mine recommended PBCOM (because few people go there). But since they had an early cut-off and it was already 3PM at that time, I went for UCPB – my last option after going to and asking other banks. -_- Luckily, they didn’t have an early cut-off. I can finally process everything before business hours end. 🙂

With all above requirements in hand, I submitted them to the BIR officer and he gave me a claiming stub. YEY! I claimed my Certificate of Registration after 4 business days. In some cases, they will require you to attend a seminar. They were not sure if I needed receipts but I insisted. I’ve read that I will need receipts just for my records and in case I ever get checked up on. Who knows I might need it. You need the receipts to be printed by an official BIR “Printer.” As in a firm or accredited company that prints these stuff. I just happened to meet one while in the BIR but you can ask them for recommendations. As of this writing, I’m still waiting for the receipts but it will cost me around Php1,700 for 10 bundles, with carbon. I will pay once I get them. hihi.

That’s it. I am scheduled to pay taxes monthly, quarterly and renew myself annually. OMG. Thinking about these expenses (and thinking how it’s gonna be used by the gov’t >.<) are too much for my adulting self but knowing that as a tax payer, I am being a responsible citizen (and able to get visas for traveling) makes it all worth it! <3

You can ask me questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Hope you found my experience useful. ^^

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