Business

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s business tips and advice for momtrepreneurs. She shares valuable knowledge on topics like branding, marketing and consumer insight.

Great news for social entrepreneurs! Now in its fourth year, BPI Sinag is looking to help more social enterprises get a head start on their business ideas.

And this year, they are challenging social entrepreneurs to encourage the creation of wealth among the Filipino ultra-poor.

BPI Sinag is the flagship program of BPI Foundation, the social innovation arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Its goal is to accelerate businesses that create products and services that aim to make a social impact in a sustainable manner, targeting the triple-bottom-line of people, planet, and profit.

To celebrate BPI Foundation’s 40th anniversary, BPI Sinag is taking on the road to reach new social enterprises, launch new ideas and opportunities, and pave the way in improving the social enterprise ecosystem in the country.

Since its launch in 2015, BPI Sinag has been able to reach out and help 138 social enterprises nationwide. Each year, social entrepreneurs are given a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. They are then shortlisted based on their pitches and their performance until ten awardees are selected.

To reach social enterprises all over the nation, BPI Foundation conducted the Sinag Fast Track. Qualified applicants will secure a spot on the #BPISinag2018 Top 40 and will be moving on to the first round of Sinag Bootcamp to be held in Manila. From there, 20 enterprises will be selected based on their presentation until only ten are left.

Five of the awardees will get P100,000 while the top five will get P500,000. Winners will also receive cash grants and continued mentorship that can increase the chances of their project’s success.

Here’s the list of social enterprises that made it last year.

Accents and Petals Crafts and Accessories  a novelty shop selling flowers made from recycled wood and paper

Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. – develops, manufactures, and installs technologies such as ram pumps for drinking and irrigation water, for the poor in the uplands

Association of Differently-Abled Persons in Iloilo Multi-Purpose Cooperative – a furniture making business giving jobs to persons with disabilities

Buhatan River Eco-Adventure Service Cooperative (BRESC) – an eco-tourism service in Sorsogon promoting the attractions of the Buhatan River

Coffee For Peace – a coffee supplier of world-class Arabica and Robusta beans working to promote peace in Mindanao

CustomMade Crafts Center, Inc. – a weaving novelty shop offering assorted items designed with Hinabol fabric

Happy Helpers a professional home cleaning service that employs and empowers mothers from poor communities

Lamlifew Village Museum and School of Living Tradition – a living museum which showcases the cultural practices of Blaan tribe in the Sarangani Province

Mori Creations – a designer of innovative fashion accessories collaborates with mothers from poor communities in Apolonio Samson, Quezon City

Zarraga Integrated Diversified Organic Farmers Association (ZIDOFA) – a community of farmers revolutionizing rice growth with rich organic fertilizer 

As an entrepreneur, I think it’s an awesome venue for fellow entrepreneurs to test their ideas. Pitching your ideas to an expert panel can give you a different perspective and feedback on which aspects need improvement. Pitching on the stage also helps boost your confidence, presentation, and negotiation skills.

Events like these are also a great place to meet people who are as ambitious and as driven as you are. Here you can exchange ideas and get the support that you need to change the world as we know it. Who knows, you might also meet your future mentor in these events!

So if you think your idea has the potential to make a great impact and improve the lives of the Filipino people, send your entries to www.sinag.bpifoundation.org or email info.bpisinag@gmail.com. Deadline of entries is on May 15, 2018.

I completely understand. We’ve been receiving thousands of inquiries via our chat button in Taxumo’s site this April asking a lot of things about the 8% Income Tax Rate option. So, I thought writing about it would be a good idea (and note that this is based on my understanding). Full disclosure! I am not a tax expert. I am just relaying what I have heard from our BIR contacts. And if you read opinions on this post, this is MY own personal opinions and not the opinion of Taxumo. Got it? 🙂

What is this 8% Income Tax Option and who can avail of this?

Because of the TRAIN Law (aka R.A. 10963), a lot of changes have been happening and a lot of people don’t know what to do. For sole proprietors, like yours truly, I just take in and digest parts of the TRAIN LAW that is applicable to me. One of the things that is an option now is the opportunity to avail of a simpler 8% Income Tax Rate Option.

The BIR released Revenue Regulation or RR 8-2018 which details how the income tax changes as per TRAIN will be applied. Although it explains a lot of things, there are still things that are not explained thoroughly. According to the regulation, the 8% Income Tax Rate on Gross Sales/Receipts can only be availed by any self-employed individual whose gross sales/receipts for the year does not exceed P3,000,000 (aka the VAT Threshold).

Check out this video from Taxumo:

So should I choose the 8% Income Tax Rate Option?

Choosing the 8% tax rate option is simple because it’s a flat rate! No hassle, no computations 🙂

But for me, I actually did not choose this. But I have my own reasons, and these are:

    1. The Regulations said one thing but when I called my RDO, it seems they were not following what was on the RR. Case in point: RR No 08-2018 says: “If the taxpayer is unable to timely update the required registration, s/he shall continue to file the percentage tax return reflecting a zero amount of tax with a notation that s/he is availing of the 8% income tax rate option for the taxable year.” BUT, when I called my RDO, they said that for them (whatever that means), they don’t accept these forms filled out according to what the RR said.

  1. So two (2), I personally called BIR and asked what the process is to opt for 8% and the gave me the process (as seen below) BUT I personally don’t have time to do that (hahaha! again, it’s just me and my laziness!)
  2. And three (3), as an events coordinator, we have a lot of expenses. So, based on this calculator, I think the 3% plus income tax is still a better option for me.

So how do you tell the BIR that you’re opting for the 8% Income Tax Rate Option?

Step one: Go to your BIR RDO and bring your Certificate of Registration (COR) and a Letter of Intent. They will ask you if you haven’t gone beyond the threshold of Php 3 Million (They will also check your records and see if there are open cases, etc.)

Step two: Wait for them to release the new COR. It will not include “percentage tax” anymore. It will only show you that you need to pay for Income Tax and your yearly renewal. When do you get the new COR? Well, it really depends on how fast your Revenue District Office can release it.

It’s not that bad really and it’s very simple. I’m just lazy (haha!). After you receive your new COR, you can use Taxumo for filing taxes all throughout the year at just Php 250 per form. We just don’t have the rate yet for the 8% filing and the annual income tax filing, but we’re really affordable so you don’t have to worry about that part.

Please don’t forget to still file the first quarter Percentage Tax form for this year and just indicate zero filing. This is what the BIR Officers in different RDOs told me.

For opting in for the 8%, you need to update your COR before April 30, 2018. 

What else did I miss?

Oh, for the Quarter 1 Income Tax Return filing due in May, don’t forget to indicate that you’re “opting in” to avail of the 8%. If you miss indicating this in the form, you will have to file your Income Tax Returns using the Graduated Income Tax Table AND also file quarterly percentage tax returns. I’m not sure if you need to change your COR back again to indicate that you’ll pay percentage tax though, but it’s most likely that you will.

So that’s it! These are the things that I know about the 8% Income Tax Rate Option.

If you still want to talk about this, chat with us at https://taxumo.com

 

 

I remember, a decade ago, there were not a lot of entrepreneurial events one can attend to learn about entrepreneurship. Please don’t compute for my age! haha! But seriously, I envy this generation as there are a plethora of choices that are available for them. One of the interesting events that I have come across is called Sparkfest and this was created by Patch Dulay, the founder of The Spark Project. I found it to be very beneficial and interesting that we even decided to sponsor the event, both for Manila Workshops and Taxumo!

So to help spread the word about this event, I decided to ask Patch for an interview. I know a lot of you are interested to see what this event is all about. Here is my interview with Patch:

Ginger: Hi Patch! Can you tell us more about yourself?

Patch: I’m Patch, the founder of The Spark Project, a crowdfunding website and startup community. I launched Spark in 2013 and since then I have found it my mission to enable creative entrepreneurs and change makers bring their awesome ideas to reality.

Ginger: What is Sparkfest 2018? When did it start?

Patch: It has always been a dream of ours to bring the community we’ve created online, offline. It was only last year when we found the courage to bring this to life. We crowdfunded the event and raised over P270K to make it happen. We saw how much people wanted it too, so in June 2017 we finally hosted the very first Spark Fest. It was amazing and is now the only conference in the city that intersects startup entrepreneurship, creative capital and social good.

Ginger: What encouraged you to create Sparkfest?

Patch: Crowdfunding Spark Fest last year really gave us a huge boost. Our community wanted it to happen, so did we. You see, Spark Fest can be a very transformative event for aspiring entrepreneurs. Seeing our attendees leave the conference with the much needed inspiration, courage and knowledge to bring their businesses to the next level, makes it easy for us to make it an Spark Fest annual event and do it again this March.

Ginger: What can people expect from joining Sparkfest?

Patch: Attendees can expect a whole day’s learning from a powerhouse lineup of speakers. We have 3 plenary sessions, 9 breakout sessions, 25+ exhibitors, and 30+ creative founders as speakers this year. Expect your notebook to be filled with fresh ideas and contacts. And you’ll be in the company of with like-minded aspiring entrepreneurs. Who knows, your next big business opportunity might be sitting right next to you.

Ginger: How much are the tickets and where can I buy tickets?

Patch: The learning investment for Spark Fest is only P3,500. But if you buy it before March 3! You can buy it at P2,500 and save a whole lot. So it’s good to buy your tickets early to get it at the best price. Tickets are available at www.sparkfestbytsp.com or through Manila Workshops. Please click here: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/sparkfest-2018

You can find the full program and speaker list at www.sparkfestbytsp.com.

I was filling out a survey for Fintech companies in the Philippines, and one of the questions there was how old each founder was. In the tech industry, there are a lot of young founders, so I find questions like these to be awkward. Obviously, there was nothing wrong by them asking that question, since it was a survey and they need data. It was my own mind that was making uncontrollable judgements. haha! It was my own self telling ME that it’s too late to start a business. I’m in my late 30s and I just seem old to be starting these very millennial-ish business.

Because of the voice inside me that was telling me to feel ashamed about my predicament, I decided to write about the PROs why it’s never too late to start a business. It can seem scary to start a business at an old age. But, it does offer a lot of advantages. Take for example Harland Sanders, who started Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) at 65 years old and became successful. At an old age, you have a bigger network and gained more experiences and knowledge. You also have more tenacity to make your business venture a success.

A bigger network

At 40s and up, you have already met many people during your professional career. You have already built stronger connections with peers and colleagues. You know who among them are reliable and trustworthy. Tap into their expertise and call them up in case if you need legal, financial, and marketing advice.

A wealth of knowledge and experience

When you’re older, you have gained more experiences and knowledge. You have been through many jobs and experienced failures. These guide you to make better decisions. By this time, you have gained more business acumen and expertise in your craft. Those learnings build you to become more prepared in your business venture.

More tenacity

You are more responsible to handle problems as they arise. You can make a firmer stand on important business decisions. You don’t easily lose heart in the face of problems. You understand that it takes patience and determination to make your business venture a success.

What are the business opportunities for you?

There are a lot of business opportunities for you. All of the things mentioned above make you more likely to succeed even. What really stops you are all of those personal judgements that you make on yourself. No one thinks that! So every day, wake up feeling capable. Each day, tell yourself that you can make things happen.

Believe that it’s not too late to start a business.

This year, I thought of sharing snippets of information that I get to learn about. The first one that I’d like to share and talk to you about is  CRYPTOCURRENCY and BITCOIN. There is much talk about bitcoins and cryptocurrency. Of course, I also wanted to know and study what these were!

Ayoko ngang magpahuli! Plus I wanted to know why my husband was constantly borrowing my laptop to “mine”.

What I did was I watched Banking on Bitcoin on Netflix. Here’s a trailer:

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency protected with cryptography. This feature secures transactions that are made online. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency developed by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2009. It functions like a real money but does not come in printed form. It can be used to buy anything online like book a hotel, buy gadgets, equipment and a lot more. The transfer of funds is much easier and cheaper due to absence of extra fees for wire transfers (more to be said about that, but that was the original intention).

Here is a short video about BITCOINS:

Others trade it. Trading of bitcoin in different currencies occur in marketplaces called “bitcoin exchanges”. Some examples of these marketplaces are Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Coinbase, which is taking the lead.

Bitcoins are stored in the user’s computer or cloud storage. This serves as the “wallet” or “virtual bank account”. It is where bitcoins are being received or transferred, withdrawn or deposited. To transfer bitcoins, just use a mobile application or the computer.

It is not regulated by any institution like the government or bank. It is checked-and-balanced by different people on different computers. Everyone validates everyone else. This is where mining comes into the picture. Mining is basically checking if the ledgers are correct. As for regulation, governments of China, Japan and Australia are now considering to regulate the system and the currency. Others are seeing the possibility of adding tax to it.

Anonymity of the owner of bitcoin is another feature. All transactions that were ever made online using a bitcoin are stored in a ledger called the blockchain. Although transactions are recorded, the personal information of the users is anonymous. Names and addresses are not revealed. It only shows the wallet IDs of the users.

That’s my learning snippet for today! I hope I helped you, even in a little way, to learn more about Crypotocurrency and bitcoins.