The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), under Section 237 of the Tax Code, requires all taxpayers who are engaged in trade and business to issue official receipts for each sale and transfer of merchandise or for services rendered valued at Php25 or more.
How to get your BIR official recipt
Even if you’re a freelancer who gets paid for, say, writing, editing, or doing graphic design, BIR requires you have your official receipt. Here are the steps you need to take.
Apply for Registration Update
Head to your BIR branch, which is officially called a Revenue District Office (RDO). You are actually assigned an RDO — it is where you got your Tax Identification Number (TIN), or where you’re registered from your last employer. If you remember neither, simply go to your nearest RDO where you can ask for your records to be checked.
Fill out BIR Form 1905 (Application for Registration Information Update). You’ll be given a verification slip that has to be signed by the different sections in the RDO as they check your records. Determine your business address, which will be printed in your official receipt. Typically, freelancers work from home, so you may use your home address as your business address, as well.
At this stage, you will be given a case monitoring sheet to see if you’ve been remiss in filing necessary tax forms. One unfiled tax form is one open case that has a corresponding penalty of Php1,000. You can accumulate many open cases over the years without knowing it.
If you’ve moved houses and your current address is not under the jurisdiction of the RDO where you’re registered, you can have your records transferred with your registration update application. If you have any issues, you can secure an endorsement from your old RDO that you will then present to your new RDO.
How to apply for Certificate of Registration (COR)
If you don’t have to transfer your records to your new RDO or you already have an endorsement from your old RDO, you’re ready for this step. You’ll need:
- Duly accomplished BIR Form 1901 (Application for Registration for Self-Employed and Mixed Income Individuals, Estates, and Trusts)
- Government-issued IDs, photocopied
- A certification or contract from the or one of the companies that you’re doing freelance work for
- A notarized sworn declaration of income payee’s gross receipts/sales (for self-employed and/or engaged in the practice of the profession with lone income payor) for your tax type
- Proof of payment of Registration Fee (RF) amounting to Php500 and must be paid in the bank
- Mayor’s permit or occupational permit for a freelancer
- Barangay clearance (in some cases, drug test result)
How to apply for the Authority to Print (ATP) Receipts and Invoices
You can only choose from your RDO’s list of authorized printing companies to print your receipt. After you have made your choice, the printing company will then provide you these documents:
- Printer’s Certificate of Delivery (PCD) of Receipts and/or Invoice
- Taxpayer-user’s Sworn Statement
- Sample Receipt
You will submit these documents to your RDO along with your duly accomplished BIR Form 1906 (Application for Authority to Print Receipts and Invoices). Your RDO will then issue an Authority to Print (ATP). Keep this along with the documents given by the printing company for reference.
Register your Books of Accounts
Non-VAT taxpayers will need a general journal, general ledger, cash receipt book, and cash disbursement book registered at your RDO. For VAT taxpayers (mostly those who earn at least Php3 million), you’ll also have to register your sub-sales journal and sub-purchase journal.
A few things to note when you get your BIR official receit
- Keep all your documents, both original and photocopied. BIR requires the COR to be displayed at your business address.
- Make sure to issue an official receipt for every single transaction.
- Official receipts are only valid for five years. Afterward, you will need to print a new batch.
- Each receipt has a unique serial number, so you can’t discard it. If you make a mistake while writing, just cross out each mistake and sign over it.
- You can only file your tax obligations (income or percentage, or both, depending on your tax type) online. If you have anything to pay, you’ll only spend it in a bank branch that’s authorized by your RDO.
- RF must be paid every year, before the end of January. It can be paid only in an authorized bank branch after filing online.
- Each RDO gives a free seminar for new registrants. Call your RDO for the weekly schedule.
To read more about the registration requirements and download the forms, head to bir.gov.ph