Whether you are planning to start a business or a career as a self-employed individual, going to the BIR for your registration is one of the things that you must go through to be legitimate and to avoid the risk of being tax evader. Employees don’t have to think about BIR registration because their employers usually do it for them. But for us Freelancers and Business Owners, it is a responsibility.
I’ve been a freelancer ever since I was in college. I had small blogging projects back then, and I also worked as a writer for different companies while I was studying. When I graduated in 2016, I worked as a Sales and Customer Service Representative in a BPO company. But honestly speaking, working a 9-5 pm job is not for me. I knew in my heart that I wanted to build my own brand. I don’t want to be a corporate slave. So I quit my job and decided to pursue my career in writing.
How did I register with BIR as a Self-Employed Professional?
Since I’m working as a Digital Content Creator, I registered as a Self-Employed Professional (Non-PRC License). Before going to BIR, I did everything I can to learn the process on how to register — I read different articles, and I’ve asked my friends as well. I expected it to be a loooong process, but surprisingly, I was able to get my Certificate of Registration in just 2 days.
I’ve heard a lot of horror stories of people who tried to register their business or profession — encountering inefficient, and rude staff, long queue, etc. But Thank God I did not experience any of those. So on this blog post, I’m going to share my personal experience when I registered as a Self-Employed Professional (Non-PRC License). For those of you transitioning from full-time employment to freelance, I hope you also find this article helpful.
*The process is different from business registration. It’s much easier. Other people think it’s the same, so they will tell you to get requirements like Mayor’s permit, DTI registration, etc. But in reality, those are not needed when you register as a self-employed individual.
Completing the BIR Registration Requirements
When I arrived at the BIR office, I told the guard that I will change my status from employed to self-employed. She handed me 2 copies of Form 1905 and my number. Since I came early, I did not wait too long for my turn.
I brought the requirements I know needed when registering with the BIR (PSA birth certificate, Contract from my previous and current client, Brgy. Clearance, Book of Accounts, and IDs). I decided to go directly to the BIR to make sure I’m doing the right thing before getting other requirements. When it was my turn, I told the staff about my situation: I’m registered as Employed, but I want to change it to Self-Employed. She gave me a list of requirements, and she explained the process well. She also made sure I was registered in that RDO, so I won’t have to transfer.
*If you are previously employed like me, you have to check the RDO where you are registered. Here’s a list of RDOs: https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/contact-us/directory/revenue-district-offices.html
Complete List of Requirements (For Self Employed Professional only)
This is based on my experienced. The process and the requirements vary depending on which RDO you register. So I recommend that you personally go to the RDO where you intend to register and inquire for the specific requirements.
-2 copies of Form 1901
-2 copies of Form 1905
-Book of Accounts
-Occupation Tax Receipt (OTR) for non-licensed and Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) for licensed professional
-Photocopy of ID (with address)
-Sample layout of Official Receipt
How to Get a Sample Layout of OR?
Usually, when you asked for the requirements in BIR, the officer in charge will give you a list of BIR accredited printing press in your area. You just need to submit a photocopy of Form 1901 (signed), photocopy of OTR/PTR, and your TIN and address to the printing press. Then they will give you a receipt and a printed sample layout of your OR to be submitted to the BIR for approval, along with Form 1906 (Application to Print Receipts and Invoices).
If you are from Pampanga, I recommend RED GRO Printing Press in Balibago. They are BIR Accredited and they can get the job done quickly. I paid PHP 1800 for 10 booklets (Valid for 5 years).
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Application for BIR Registration
The next day, I went to the printing press to pick up the OR. Then I went back to the RDO, where I am registered to submit the requirements needed. It took about an hour of waiting before I was able to see the officer-in-charge, but when it was my turn, the officer told me that they will be offline between 12 noon to 1 pm. She advised me to eat first, then come back after an hour to process my application. But before leaving, she already prepared the documents I submitted.
At exactly 1 pm, I came back to the office, and the officer processed my application immediately. She asked me to pay the registration fee and documentary stamps. I handed over PHP 530 in cash. Then she stamped my Payment form and asked me to wait for the official receipt.
After giving me the receipt for the registration fee and stamps, I asked her what will be the next step. She told me to wait for my COR. I asked her when I could get it because I thought it would take a couple of days or weeks (based on what I have researched). She told me I will be getting it the same day. I was surprised because I didn’t expect it to be that easy. So I waited for another hour to get the COR and the Authority to print (to be submitted to the printing press for them to start the printing of my OR.
Registration of Book of Accounts
After the registration, you just have to accomplish the Registration of Book of Accounts within 30 days of the registration date to avoid penalties. For freelancers like me, you will be needing a book for cash receipts and a book for cash disbursement. Don’t forget to bring your COR and 2 copies of Form 1905
And that completes the process! As self-employed professionals, our work doesn’t end there. We have to maintain the books of accounts, file the appropriate BIR forms quarterly, and renew our registration. It may be a lot of work, but it will be definitely worth it! If you have a project that needs to be done abroad, or if you have an overseas client who wants you to visit their country, you can easily apply for a visa and other documents because you have proof of legitimacy. The embassy and immigration won’t suspect you because you have strong ties to your home country.
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