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  • How To Register as a Taxpayer at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) (A step by step guide for professionals or self-employed individuals who are first-time registrants)

    I know how tedious and gruesome a task it could be for anyone who plans to do it by himself, especially for professionals who are so caught up with their jobs and hardly have the time to do it, unless they'll hire someone else to do it for them. I myself had quite a hard time because one thing I noticed, BIR is not as organized. Well I guess it depends on the BIR branch or Regional District Office (RDO) you're visiting. The major problem I had was that I was completely clueless and none of the BIR staff was clear enough in conveying the details regarding what I really am required to do. Except for the handful of security guards who go out of their way guiding people where to go, assisting them what forms to fill up and others. I can't blame the BIR staff though, working long hours and with the gazillion of people who visit their office every single day. I wish there was some sort of "BIR Registration for Dummies" that I could refer to. The BIR website is too technical as it is. So that's when I thought of blogging about it on how I got it done, in the hopes to be of help to people who plans to register in the future.

    The deadline for registration is on January 20th of each year but I suggest doing it a lot earlier in the month so you'll have enough time for everything. And for sure it will take a lot of time from you to get everything done. It took me almost 3 weeks with multiple visits to the BIR branch office to pay, submit forms, et cetera et cetera.

    STEP 1
    Acquire a cedula from the municipal hall of your town. You will need this to be able to get a PTR, which you could also get from the municipal hall. How much you'll need to pay for the community tax or cedula depends on how much your salary is. The PTR costs Php 300

    STEP 2
    Go to the BIR branch where the city of your workplace is under. Have all your original and photocopied documents ready:
    - Certificate of License from the Philippines Regulatory Commission (PRC)
    - PRC ID
    - Tax Identification Number / TIN card (if you don't have one yet, you can get it from the BIR for free, bring 1x1 photo); you can only acquire one TIN in a lifetime, possessing more than one TIN is punishable by law
    - PTR
    - a certification from the company or clinic where you practice or are affiliated with
    - duly accomplished Application for Registration Form 1901 (you can get the forms from the BIR)

    STEP 3
    Fill up the Payment Form 0605 (you can get the forms from the BIR). Fall in line to the counter and present your documents if they ask, and have the BIR officer stamp your Form 0605

    STEP 4
    Proceed to the nearest bank accredited by the BIR to pay the registration fee. All future monetary transactions with the BIR should only be done through accredited banks, they have a list of it in the website. Present your stamped Form 0605 to the bank teller (it should be stamped by the BIR otherwise they will not proceed) and pay the Php 500 registration fee

    STEP 5
    Have all your documents photocopied, including the Payment Form 0605 you just paid, along with the bank receipt. Acquire a documentary stamp (you can buy it from the BIR office, it costs Php 15 each, better to have a couple as you're going to need it again later)
    Fall in line again and wait for your turn. Submit the photocopied documents and the documentary stamp. Get your claim stub indicating when you'll return to get your Certificate of Registration

    STEP 6
    Go back to the BIR on the specified date on your claim stub. Attend the brief seminar for beginner taxpayers, it can be useful in the future. And well, you can only get your Certificate of Registration after you did attend the seminar, so it's not like you have any other choice. Present your claim stub to get your COR

    STEP 7
    Register your books or columnars or ledgers whatever you call it. You can buy whatever kind you like from any bookstore and have it stamped by the BIR officer. Fill up the details being asked on the stamp mark on your columnar then return it to them to have it signed. Fill up the Application Form to Update 1905 (you can get the forms from the BIR) and submit it to them. They might ask for a documentary stamp, you can buy one there in the BIR office, it costs Php 15 each. Your columnar should be signed and your Form 1905 should be stamped or signed encoded (don't miss this because if you start using your columnar without registering it yet you'll be on the ground for violations)

    STEP 8
    To be able to start issuing Official Receipts at work, fill up Application to Print Form 1906, only the information you can supply and the rest is to be filled up by an authorized printer

    STEP 9
    Go to an authorized printer or printing press of your choice, the BIR website has a list of accredited printers. Present a photocopy of your Payment Form 0605, Certificate of Registration and your ATP Form 1906. Pay the necessary fee (it may cost more or less Php 2000 but you initially just pay a downpayment and you settle the balance upon claiming the receipts). The authorized printer will process it with the BIR. Keep your claim stub and keep in touch with the printer for when your printed receipts will be ready. You should be able to use it for the next taxpaying month. You can file "no transaction" for now for the month of January (deadline 20th of February for the monthly tax) since you basically just registered and had just set everything ready.

    I hope this article helps. Yes, computing and paying for taxes can be so stressful. But try not to stress too much :)