Finally! After years of being a freelancer, I am finally a registered taxpayer as of yesterday, August 18, 2021. My income from blogging, streaming, guesting and even managing clients will now be taxed. So why did I register? Other people, (and to be honest I am one of those “other people” before) would consider declaring taxes a burden but there are so many reasons why you should register as a taxpayer. One of those reasons is having a proof of income. If you are freelancer like me, you would know how hard it is to prove companies and businesses that you are financially capable. Another benefit of it is for getting a tourist visa. I have been to several visa-free countries, and when I applied for a US tourist visa, I failed twice. It’s very hard to prove your income capacity and to get a tourist visa if you are freelancer. Another reason why I registered is because I want to be able to secure a housing loan someday. I have been voluntarily paying my contribution for Pag-IBIG monthly but upon checking the requirements of Pag-IBIG and even housing loans from banks, a proof of employment or proof of income is needed. I am turning 30 soon and I want to be able to buy a house someday. Lastly, I have noticed that most of the clients and companies now prefer content creators and freelancers who could provide them a Certificate of Registration or BIR 2303. Of course these companies need to file their taxes too. These are just some of the benefits of being a registered taxpayer. But the main reason why you should declare your taxes is because it’s required by law.
So how do you get registered? If I am being honest, I think it’s a lot easier to get registered now because of the pandemic. I got mine in just one day. However, your mileage may vary depending on your RDO.
What You Need
1. Transfer your RDO. Assuming you already have a registered TIN and that you used to be employed by a company, you will first need to transfer your RDO. You will need Form 1905 and a valid ID.
- First, you have to determine your old RDO. You can find this information on your ITR or Form 1701 or you may ask your previous company’s HR Department. You can also check the list of RDO codes here: https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/contact-us/directory/regional-district-offices.html.
- Next, you will need to determine your new RDO. This can be based on your home address or the place where you will mostly conduct your business.
- Download and fill out FORM 1905 here: https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/bir-forms/application-forms.html.
- Submit your documents. Pre-pandemic, you need to bring your form personally, but now you can do it via email. Just email your old RDO attach your FORM 1905 and a valid ID. You can find their email address here: https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/contact-us/directory/regional-district-offices.html. My old RDO was in Makati 047. The process was very quick. I sent mine last August 11, 2021 around 8:30 PM. Since it was already after office hours, I called their office the following day to verify if they received the email. They processed mine within a few hours and got an email stating that it’s tantamount to a stamp of “received.”
- You can then verify the status of your request with your new RDO. It usually takes a week but I think because of the pandemic the process is a lot faster now or maybe it depends with your RDO because in my case it took mine less than a week. I called my new RDO last August 17, 2021 and informed me that the transfer was complete if I submitted my request last week.
2. Apply for a Certificate of Registration or BIR 2303. Now that you have verified the status of your transfer request, you can now apply for a Certificate of Registration. For this step, you can either do it in person or via email or even using their dropbox. Note that not all RDO allows applying for a Certification of Registration via email or dropbox so you still have to verify with your RDO if they accept these application methods. In my case, I did it personally. I would recommend doing this personally so you can have it done all in one day. If you prefer applying for COR via email, the processing time will depend on the amount of email your RDO receives, this can take 3-5 business days which is why I decided to do it in person. Here’s what you will need to prepare:
- 1 Photocopy of a valid ID with an address within the jurisdiction of your new RDO.
- 2 copies of FORM 1901.
- 3 copies of Form 0605.
- 1 copy of your proof of nature of work this can be your contract, Occupational Tax Receipt or an affidavit. In my case, I brought a Certificate of Employment signed by my international employer. If you can’t provide contract, COE or an affidavit, you can opt to pay for an Occupational Tax Receipt which is available in your LGU’s City Hall.
- Php 562.00. There’s an annual registration fee of Php 500, Php 15 certification fee and Php 15 documentary stamp tax. You can also avail BIR Printed Receipts which is Php 32.00.
For some RDO, you will have a scheduled date of claiming your Certificate of Registration but in my RDO (RDO 041 Mandaluyong) all of the process was done in one day. After submitting the required documents, I just waited for them to print my Certificate of Registration and have it signed by the Revenue District Officer. So while waiting, I then proceeded to Step 3.
3. Register your Books of Account. When you go back to claim for your Certificate of Registration, or in my case while waiting to have your Certificate of Registration signed, you can start having your Books of Account registered. All you need is 2 copies of Form 1905 and 1 photocopy of your valid ID. You can also opt to buy your books in your RDO for Php 200.00.
And you’re done! Congratulations! You are now officially a taxpayer. Now all you have to worry about is filing your taxes. I’m planning to use Taxumo to file mine. Taxumo is a tax compliance web application that helps you compute, file and pay for your taxes. It’s very easy to use and it’s actually designed for people who have no background in Accounting or Bookkeeping. You can create a free account while you get to know the ropes and join a free onboarding session which will give you a tour of the app. Should you decide to purchase a subscription, you can use my code “THELIFESTYLEAVENUE” to get 10 percent off your subscription. I will soon write a separate post filing your taxes and using Taxumo.
Hope this guide will be able to help you apply for a Certificate of Registration. Should you have any questions, you can always call or email your designated RDO. You can find their contact information here: https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/contact-us/directory/regional-district-offices.html.
Thanks for sharing your experience! Did you run into trouble for registering late, like additional paper work or penalties?
Sorry for replying late. No, I have not encountered that. When you file for the first time after registering you can declare previous income. I have been using Taxumo so I am not very familiar with the process of filing. I highly recommend them too and I am personally using their service. It’s good. Let me know how your experience went so far.