Self-employed/Freelancer: How to register with BIR
As much as we do not want to pay for our taxes since part of our mind think that it will not be used properly by the government and rationalize that our hard-earned money will just be used to fill the pockets of corrupt politicians, but unfortunately, we must do it if you are earning income here and abroad.
As a law-abiding Filipino citizen, we should file our taxes to avoid tax evasion that when audited can be a cause of payment of fines, interest, compromise fee, penalties and even imprisonment for two to four years. Remember when you are getting money from Western Union, Banks, GCash etc., you need to provide an ID and goes to the verification process (this is to avoid money laundering). If you are getting a regular income or remittances there might come the time that the government will look upon those transactions.
Paying your taxes has a lot of advantages too. You need your Annual Income Tax Return report for VISA processing and for House and Car Loan. At saka ang sarap lang ipagmalaki na “legit” ang trabaho mo.
This year, I feel the need to get a receipt already. I have read a lot of blogs and articles on how to register in BIR. But most of these posts overwhelmed me, it looks like a hideous process. Until I read the blog post of my co-mommy blogger Donna. On her post, she made it look so easy. I followed it and finished my registration in just a day (except for the OR that took a week before I received).
Before reading her post, I already considered the thought of hiring someone to do it for me, my husband even told me that it’s okay to spend 10-12K if it will be so hard to do and will take a lot of time from me. BUT, the curious me (and the frugal me), thought that it’s better if I know the process and be able to share my experience with you. BTW, you can also generate invoices online in a snap using Zintego.
Here’s the STEP by STEP Guide in Registering as a Self Employed / Freelancer / Professional in BIR:
➡️Make sure that the city where your business address is located should match the Regional District Office of the BIR that your TIN will be attached to. I was previously employed so the first thing I did was transfer RDO (Regional District Office). My accountant friend did this for me 3 years ago.
You need to use BIR Form No. 1905 here. From Manila, I transferred my RDO to my home/business address here in Cavite. Your registration will not be processed until the transfer has been made.
➡️I prepared the following documents before going to BIR for registration: Barangay Clearance (this is FREE in our area). Before I got this clearance, they asked me to get a Homeowners Certificate from our subdivision because I can’t present an ID with my current address. Next, have a photocopy of your Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate (if you are married), and a copy of your child/children’s Birth Certificate too. Plus a copy of any valid ID too.
Then go to your municipality to get an OTR (Occupational Tax Receipt).
As per Donna’s post, she also prepared an Income Payee’s Sworn Declaration of Gross Receipt/Sales notarized. I did too, but the BIR in our area said that they don’t need it. To be sure (notarization is just around P100-P150), you can print it and have it notarized (it’s better to have complete requirements rather than going back just for this. Click HERE
Also, print a copy of your website and latest contract from your clients.
➡️Fill up BIR Form No. 1901
➡️Then fill up BIR FORM 0605 (3 forms). You will use this form to pay for the P500 registration and P30 Documentary Stamps. You can pay in any accredited bank, but it’s a good thing that the BIR in our area accept payments. It saves me from going to the bank to pay.
➡️Fill up BIR Form No. 1906 then look for an accredited printer. I found one inside the BIR already. The minimum number of booklets is 10pcs and it cost around P1300-P1500.
➡️ Give them your Accounting books (I just got one -ledger and they accepted it). They will stamp it.
➡️ After submitting all these forms, you can now settle down and wait for the Certificate of Registration. If you are early in the area, they can process it within the day, but if you arrive in the afternoon I think you have to return for it the next day (some areas said it took them a week daw).
➡️ The Authority To Print form should be given to the printing press. I waited for a week for my Official Receipt to finish. The printing press was also the one who asked the BIR to stamp the Authority to Print for me.
That’s it! I am now ready to issue receipts.
Here’s the list of my expenses:
Occupational Tax Receipt (OTR) – P150
Income Declaration Notarization – P150
BIR Registration- P500
Documentary Stamps – P30
Official Receipts – P1,500
Others (food + transpo) – P300
TOTAL = P 2,630
I saved a whopping 10K (at least) for doing this process on my own and it only took me a whole day to do it (I wish every RDO is the same).
BTW, the first quarter of every year is the perfect time to file or register because you need to renew your COR on or before January 31. So if you register on the last quarter of the year (let’s say September), you will renew it again before January 31 (
I is also advised that even though you don’t have an income in a month or quarter, you still need to report it in BIR to avoid penalty (amounting to 1000 per month).
The next thing I need to learn is How to file my Income Tax on my own, what areas I need to fill up in the form etc. As I have mentioned, someone is doing this for me every year, but since I need to do it monthly now
You can download BIR Forms here – https://www.bir.gov.ph/index.php/bir-forms.html