Freelancing is growing in the Philippines. More and more Filipinos choose the time and location flexibility over traditional work setups. It might be for more time for the family or passion projects. After all, you only live once. Might as well live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
But as this sector grows, not all Filipinos register their professions. Why should you, when you will lose your hard-earned money? It might be true, but there are advantages when you register your practice.
For one, you can use your income tax returns for financial applications like loans, visas for travel, credit cards, and more. Also, you can issue receipts for more prominent clients in the Philippines. And it’s quite easy to register. Here is how to register in the BIR as a Freelancer.
Things to Bring
Before we start, here are the necessary documents and items you need to prepare before going to the BIR.
- NSO Birth Certificate
- Marriage Contract (if married)
- NSO Birth Certificate of Dependents (if you have dependents)
- Community Tax Certificate (commonly known as Cedula)
- Billing Statement with Address
- Philippine-issued valid ID (here is a list you can check)
- Occupational Tax Receipt or Professional Tax Receipt
- Books of Accounts (General Journal, General Ledger, Cash Receipts Journal, Cash Disbursements Journal)
Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) or Occupational Tax Receipt (OTR)
If you haven’t heard about this, this is the tax professionals pay per year to the local government.
The PTR or OTR is like your business permit to practice your profession. PTR is for licensed professionals (such as doctors, accountants, etc.) and OTR is for non-licensed professionals (such as Graphic Designers, Writers, etc.)
Just go to your city hall or municipal hall to get one. You are required to bring your Community Tax Certificate. The amount you have to pay varies. But usually, it’s around 150 PHP to 300 PHP.
Look for your Revenue District Office
The first step is finding your Revenue District Office (RDO). The BIR has a lot of branches in the Philippines. Your TIN Number (Tax Identification Number) should be registered in the area you are working in.
So if you live in Quezon City, you should be registered in the RDO your address is located in. The easiest way is to contact the BIR hotline for the exact RDO you should go to. Hotline Numbers:
Do You Have a TIN?
After finding your RDO, the next question is, do you have a TIN? If you don’t have, you need to apply for one. You need to fill in:
- Form 1901 (1 & 2)(For first-time registrants for Self-Employed Individuals)
- Form 0605 (Payment Form for the Registration)
You just need to submit this and pay for a P500 registration fee. Afterwards, you will be given your Certificate of Registration (COR), and you need to schedule a BIR seminar.
If Yes, Is it Registered in Your New RDO?
If you already have a TIN, you just have to update your information. First, check if you are registered in your current RDO. If yes, you just need to update your profession to include your new freelancing profession. You need:
- Form 1905 (Update of Registration for those with an existing TIN)
- Form 0605 (Payment Form for the Registration)
After submitting the requirements and paying for the registration, you will receive your Certificate of Registration (COR), and you need to schedule a seminar for BIR.
What if Your NEW RDO is not the same as the OLD one?
Sometimes, we may have a TIN, but then we are registered in the RDO of our previous company, which most likely is not your area of residence/practice.
With this, you just need to update your information with
Form 1905 (Update of Registration for those with an existing TIN)
- Fill out section 4E for “Change in Registered Address.”
- Put a check on “Transfer of Home RDO.”
- Fill out Your New RDO
- Fill out Your New Address
Submit the form to your OLD RDO. The request will be processed after one week. Return to your NEW RDO and do the steps above to register your freelancing practice.
Registering Your Book of Accounts
After registering your practice, don’t go yet. You need to register a couple of things more before you live. One is your book of accounts. BIR requires us to bring record our transactions along the way. And these books need to be registered in the BIR. The books you need are:
- General Journal
- General Ledger
- Cash Receipts Journal
- Cash Disbursements Journal
Registering Your “Authority to Print” for Receipts
The last thing you need is an “authority to print” for your receipts. It is a document that authorizes you to print receipts for transactions.
After getting this document, you can have your receipts printed from accredited printers. You can get the list of accredited companies in the RDO. These receipts are valid for five years of use.
Ask the Officer of the Day
If you are overwhelmed with all the information, every RDO has an officer of the day. You can just ask them for the processes you don’t understand so that you’ll be guided accordingly.
With that, congratulations! You are now registered as a freelancer!!