The key secret to manifesting a future you want is to see and feel yourself in that future. Since I want to grow financially and be able to provide for the family even while I am at home, I have registered at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as a freelancer. I have set my eyes on the future where I can earn online. Thus, it is only proper for me to register in BIR as a freelancer taxpayer.
Online Registration in BIR as a Freelancer
Due to the increasing Covid-19 cases last January 2022, I looked for ways to register without having to personally visit government offices. I read about the experiences of other mommy bloggers who applied in BIR as self-employed/freelancer and asked my friends as well. All of them applied for an occupational permit at the city hall before going to BIR.
I had to do something different.
So I asked an accountant for insights.
Eventually, I chose to have myself registered under DTI instead of going to the city hall. Again, my goal was to limit face-to-face transactions due to the Covid-19 situation. I logged into DTI Business Name Registration, entered my details, paid via GCash, and had myself registered in less than 15 minutes.
DTI registration, done.
BIR New Business Registration Portal
Next, I browsed the BIR New Business Registration Portal.
The page was direct, with links that will show you what are the requirements needed to register. I clicked the Sole Proprietors, Professionals, and Mixed-Income Earners option and viewed the requirements.
The page also tells you how to pay for the registration. Since I already have an existing TIN, I can already pay the registration via online payments. I paid Php530 via GCash (P500.00 Registration Fee and P30.00 loose Documentary Stamp Tax (DST)).
Afterwhich, Step 4 of the page has several drop downs where you can choose your province, municipality, barangay, and business type. You also need to type your name. The page will automatically populate and show you the RDO and its email where you can submit your requirements.
The requirements I sent to the BIR email address were:
- Form 1905 to transfer my RDO
- Form 1901 – Application for Registration
- Copies of Driver’s license and Passport
- Copy of DTI registration
- Answered Questionnaire (this is from the BIR New Biz portal)
I registered as a Non-VAT using 8% income tax.
Initially, I opted to buy the temporary receipts from BIR instead of printing my own which would require details for an ATP (Authority to Print) in my application form (1905). More stories about that later on.
Waiting for BIR Registration
I emailed my application to my RDO on January 18. Unfortunately, Metro Manila was under Alert Level 3. This meant that my email took a long time before I had a reply. Before the application, the turnaround time for BIR to reply to my email was within 24 hours. For my application though, I got a reply on the first week of February. And they replied that there was no attachment. Wait, what?
I went back to my email and I did send attachments however it was more than the 4MB mentioned on the New Biz portal. So instead of getting angry, I resent my requirements, and this time I had the files reduced in size.
I received a reply a week later telling me that my papers were already endorsed for registration and I was given names of BIR officers and a phone number I could call for updates. And on February 15, I received a call from BIR confirming some information on my registration application.
Since I did not get any updates after the call, I called BIR after a week and I was informed that my Certificate of Registration (COR) is already available for pick-up at my RDO. The officer told me to bring 2 columnar records for my books of accounts. I was also advised to come early since the queue at the office is usually long.
BIR Certificate of Registration
On February 24, I arrived at my RDO along Commonwealth Avenue at 30 minutes past 10 in the morning. I approached the guard on the second floor and informed the officer that I am to pick up the COR. The queue around the building was so long already . I was relieved to know that there was a different line for those who are picking up COR. After waiting for more than 2 hours, I went inside the office almost 1PM. And waited for my name to be called by the Officer of the Day counter.
It did not take long and I was able to receive my Certificate of Registration (COR) and Documentary Stamp.
As for the books of records, I went to get a queue number so I can have my books stamped. Note: Make sure to have your books stamped first (entrance of BIR near the guard) before going to the New Business Registration Accounts counters.
I waited for BIR to go online so that I can purchase my temporary receipts. Since I placed on my registration application that I am opting for temporary receipts, I can’t apply for an Authority to Print (ATP) anymore.
Eh ayun na nga, offline si BIR so di sila makapag issue ng temporary receipts tapos di din daw ako pwede mag ATP that day so pano na??
After I had my books stamped, I went home. It was already 4PM.
BIR Online Orientation
I attended the online orientation of BIR via Zoom. The RDO gave me a schedule and the Zoom Meeting ID when I picked up my COR. The orientation lasted for more than 2 hours. We also had a short quiz where I got a prize of 500 pesos GCash.
Woohoo! I don’t know if all BIR RDOs have this.
BIR Official Receipts
The following week, I used the website of BIR to look for accredited printers for my RDO. I have canvassed prices and the lowest I found was Php1,500 however their office is too far from my place. I opted to get one that was a walking distance. The accredited printer charges Php2,500 for 10 booklets, non-carbonized dual copies.
They will also process the Authority to Print (ATP) on your behalf. I liked this. It was something I really wanted since I didn’t want to spend half a day visiting BIR.
Below were the documents I gave to the printer:
- photocopy of the BIR Certificate of Registration
- Authority to Print application, 2 copies of 1906
- photocopy of a valid ID
- notarized authorization letter bearing the name of the printer’s employee that will process my application
I also paid Php1,500 as a downpayment.
Since my initial BIR application indicated that I opted for a temporary receipt, my name was flagged in the BIR office. Hence, my ATP was not processed. The printer had to buy me 1 booklet of temporary receipts FIRST before applying for ATP. I didn’t mind since it was only 32 pesos per booklet. I just feel sorry for the person processing my papers since they had to travel and borrow my original COR and went back to BIR.
Finally, 2 weeks after submitting my papers to the accredited printer, I received my 10 booklets of official receipts. Along with the booklets, I also received a notarized letter indicating the information on what the accredited printer has printed on my behalf.
My expenses included:
- DTI registration – P530
- BIR registration – P530
- Columnar notebooks – P75
- BIR temporary receipt – P35
- Official receipts – P2500
- Notary (authorization letter) – P300
- Transpo (Grab, FX, tricycle) and food – P800
Overall, I liked that I was able to register on BIR via email. It was only unfortunate that when I sent my application, there was a Covid-19 surge.
The officers at the BIR were all courteous and helpful. The queue was just too long!! I hope more Filipinos can take advantage of contacting the RDO via Facebook or email instead of going to the RDO. I have noticed a lot of people dropped by just to ask questions which answers you can find on the website.
For those who will be registering, I suggest getting an accredited printer and asking for a sample receipt before filing your registration.
I will make another post on how I will file my taxes for this quarter.