How To Register As A Freelancer or Professional in BIR

***This is a post from 2018 and may no longer be relevant.**

Processing time: 2 mornings only, maximum of 4 hours spent in BIR and City Hall.

For further resources, you may check out this, thisthis, and this for BIR Pasig


Disclaimer No.1: This renewal process *experience is exclusive to Parañaque City where the BIR RDO (Regional District Office) has an automated queuing system, information booth, a clean toilet, and air conditioning — not all BIR RDOs are made equal. But the process is all pretty similar. I’m a PWD and I’m very grateful that my BIR RDO is friendly to my needs.

Disclaimer No.2: Daig ng maaga ang… hindi maaga. I was in the BIR RDO before it opened at 8AM. Not only does this mean that there are fewer queues, but the officers and staff are still fresh, not yet hungry, tired, or grumpy. I also went thru this process during summer vacation so the roads aren’t congested with the absence of the school-goers.

Who is this post for? For brand new registrants to BIR (no previous Tin no.) who wants to register as a Professional or Freelancer. This may also apply to those already with a Tin No. and who are previously employed thru a company – but you have to change your Tin status from employee to self-employed/professional. For that, you can read this.

Freelancer Vs. Professional

  • Professionals are doctors, engineers, or accountants; basically, anyone who has to have a license to practice their profession. Professionals pay for a PTR or Professional Tax Receipt.
  • Freelancers are online freelancers, service providers, creatives, artists, or writers; generally, anyone who has a profession that does not require a license. Freelancers pay for an OTR or Occupational Tax Receipt.

What are the documents I acquired from this process which will allow me to operate and issue receipts:

  • Certificate of Registration (COR)
  • Official Receipts
  • Registered Ledger Notebooks/Books of Accounts

Forms (there are forms available in the BIR RDO but you may want to take a look at these ahead of time):

Form 0605 – Annual Registration Fee

Form 1901 – eTIS1 Application for Registration

Form 1905 – Application for Registration Information Update/Correction/Cancellation

Form 1906 – Authority to Print Receipts

Are you ready? Let’s get into it!

Documents you need to prepare to get a COR, Official Receipt, & Registered Ledgers:

  • Photocopy of receipt for paid OTR (Occupational Tax Receipt) or PTR (Professional Tax Receipt).
  • Photocopy of receipt for Annual Registration Fee – Form 0605.
  • Photocopy of government-issued IDs and proof of billing.
  • Ledger notebooks, two (2) will do. Buy this from any bookstore.
  • Form 1901 (2) or (4) if you don’t’ have a Tin No. yet.
  • Form 1906 (2)
  • Form 1905 (2) or (4) if you need to change your RDO.
  • (Other forms may be required of you on top of this).

Step 0.1: Pay for your OTR or PTR.

I urge you to do this before your visit to BIR. You need to pay this in the Parañaque City Hall Treasury Department (there’s also an automated queuing system there and an information booth in case you get lost).  This costs ₱300. Keep the original receipt, and make a photocopy.

Step 0.2: Pay for Annual Registration 

Yes, you can do this before you go to BIR, provided you have an existing Tin no.

Fill out four (4) copies of Form 0605 and pay in a BIR Accredited bank. There is a BPI branch near BIR RDO 52. Here is a photo of the things you need to write in the Form 0605. Keep the original receipt and make a photocopy.

Step 0.3: But wait, you don’t have a Tin No. yet.

Funny story: For the last 10 years, I thought I had an existing Tin no. from my first and only corporate job that lasted 11 months. Turns out they didn’t file my ITR. I don’t know what happened.

  • Fill out two (2) From 1901. Make sure you put your complete name, address, landline, the name of your parents, and identification details. In item no. 20, check either ☑️Professional – In General (Freelancer) or ☑️Professional – Licensed (Professional). Fill out items 5-15, and 20. Have the photocopy of your IDs ready (but these will be returned to you).
  • Get a queueing number from the information booth. When you are called, pass the documents above. The officer will encode your information in the BIR system and you will be issued your brand spanking new Tin No. He’ll just write it on the 1901 form.
  • Keep this 1901 form as a remembrance, kinda like a birth certificate for your life as a taxpayer. 

Step 0.4: But wait, you’re previously an employee but you want to change into a freelancer. 

Is your Tin No. from your previous employment in the same RDO as your home address (which is where you’ll register your business as a Freelancer/Professional)? If not, you will need to change your RDO – use form 1905. This may take a few days for the BIR system to update.

For reference, you may check thisThis is also helpful.

*Notice that the steps above start with a “0”, this means you can do these things before going to the BIR. Some of these are optional depending on your situation. But definitely, pay for your PTR/OTR ahead of time.

Step 1: Securing a COR

  • Get a queuing number. (Dammit, I have to say this all the time).
  • Submit all the documentary requirements:
    • Photocopy of Government Issued IDs (*other RDOs require a Barangay Clearance)
    • Photocopy of receipt of OTR/PTR
    • Photocopy of Form 0605 and receipt from the Bank
    • Two filled-out copies of Form 1901 (Fill out items 5-15, 19-20).
  • The officer will enter the information you provided into their BIR system. Afterward, then and there, he will print a ✨Certificate of Registration✨. 
  • The officer will ask you what type of Tax you want to pay whether Graduated at 3% or fixed at 8%. Since I’m more familiar with the 3% percentage tax system and my earnings is less than ₱3M, I chose that.

Step 1.1: Get a documentary stamp for your COR

  • Go to the 2nd floor to purchase a Documentary Stamp ₱30. This will be glued to your COR. 

Step 2: Have your receipts printed in the RDO!

RDO 52 has the option of processing the printing of your receipts on your behalf. No need to go to the printers, do it there na! This is optional, you can still choose to have your receipts printed outside. But why would you do that when you can do it in the RDO?!

  • After I received my COR, the officer asked me if I wanted to have my receipts printed there. I said, yes! I was pointed to a desk at the back. I did not get a queueing number for this.
  • Fill out two (2) Form 1906 (items 1, 4-9, and 19). Present your COR.
  • 10 Official Receipt booklets cost ₱1,200 and are valid for 5 years.
  • You will be given a receipt for your order. Keep the receipt for when you claim the booklets after a week or two. I was told I will be contacted when the receipts are ready for pickup.

Step 2.1: Have your COR signed by the head RDO. 

When the officer who was assisting me with my authority to print looked at my COR, she noticed that it wasn’t signed by the head of the RDO yet. I didn’t have to do anything, she said she’ll have it sent upstairs to be signed by the head.

There was a few other things that happened here that I had nothing to do with, but I waited for to be done: 1) There was an encoding of my request for Authority to print – and I received an email from notifying me that my request was approved, 2) there was a systems encoding done by a different BIR officer who printed something, attached it to my COR Form 1906 before it was 3) brought up to the 2nd floor to be signed by the RDO head.

After I waited for 30 minutes or so, I received my COR with the signature.

Step 3: Register your books of account. 

What is a book of accounts for? I don’t know yet. But I do know that we need to register them.

  • Get a queuing number.
  • Fill out two (2) Form 1905 and have your two ledger notebooks ready.
  • The officer will stamp your notebooks with an approval, which will be signed by another officer a few tables away. You will also sign a form/log and that’s it!

From the steps above you have acquired: COR, Official Receipts (to be picked up), and Ledger notebooks.

Step 4: Go find an accountant (for their service or for educating you) and start filing your taxes!

  • I still don’t know what taxes I need to file and how to file them. I believe we can do this online now. I’ll make a new post when I find out.

Good luck!

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