Doing your taxes is probably one of the most frustrating things every working person does. Even the more veteran people, when it comes to taxes, would find it hard to do when they don’t prepare for it well. In the Philippines, tax computations are one of the things that a lot of people fear, just because of how stressful it can get.

That being said sooner or later, everyone will have to do their taxes as part of their lives. And for those first timers that have no idea how to do them yet, don’t fret, because if you start out early, you might find it easier to do in the future! Plus keep in mind that there are a lot of helpful websites and applications that make it easier for you to do your taxes! That being said, here are some of the most important things that every first-time taxpayer should know.

BIR Forms

There are many kinds of BIR forms that are dedicated solely to paying business taxes. For example, there are specifics forms applicable for self-employed individuals, employees of companies, and business owners. And there are forms that are to be used by Partnerships and Corporations.

It’s important that you know which one you should use so that you can fill out the right form and avoid penalties. Freelancers fall under self-employed individuals. We, freelancers, are considered non-licensed professionals. They, along with business owners who are sole proprietors usually do their own taxes. While people that are employed would usually have their companies do their taxes for them.

Documents Needed

There are as many steps to the processes as there are BIR forms. Haha! I may be exaggerating, but the what’s for sure is that the steps to be taken take a whole lot of time from a business owner’s day. On the average, a business owner in the Philippines takes 2 days in a month (according to a PWC and World Bank report on taxes) spent just complying with taxes. When starting a business, I highly recommend that one should at least be familiar with the 101s of preparing and submitting your own taxes.

A good example would be to know more about income tax returns. These are forms that need to be submitted as long as you are making some kind of income or receiving compensation. Income is basically your gross revenue less expenses and when you do this, you get your taxable income. This is the basis for your taxes (income tax return). A self employed individual submits and pays for income taxes every quarter (Form 1701Q), the fourth quarter being the “famous” annual income tax (Form 1701 or 1701A).

If you are employed (have a day job) and running a business at the same time, you are considered to be a mixed income earner. How do you report taxes? You will secure BIR Form 2316 from your employer at the end of the year and use the values there and combine it with the income / expenses from your business. You do this only for form 1701 or Annual income tax form.

If you need help in preparing tax form 1701 and 1701A, feel free to check out https://www.taxumo.com and check out their blog. They have useful information for everyone!

Payments

The final step is to print out all of these documents and pay for it at the Authorized Agent Bank (basically a bank that accepts BIR payments in the city of your business).

Please prepare 3 copies for all of your accomplished BIR Forms along with the required deposit / bills payment slip and your payment.

In some cases, you won’t be needing to pay anything, and that would entail a “No Payment” Situation. These include refundable/ creditable tax returns, returns with excess tax credit carry over, and returns that are qualified for a second instalment. These “no payment” transactions just need to be filed and stored together with the BIR confirmation via the eBIR Forms system.

Key Takeaway

This article detailed the very basics of what you need to know about taxes. In the Philippines. Tax computations are frustrating, however, as long as you prepare everything and do it as early as you can, you won’t have a problem with doing your taxes any time soon.

If you need help with understanding all of these still, just ask Taxumo.

P.S. I’m a co-founder of Taxumo, whose mission is to help people start and sustain a business! 🙂 Feel free to contact us!

Never in million years would I have guessed that I would be a TECH STARTUP company co-founder AND focus on online tax preparation. When I was little, I never liked math. One of the reasons why I chose marketing was I assumed it had a few subjects where I had to compute or use a calculator. When I graduated and helped my dad handle the family business, I would be so bored looking at excel spreadsheets that showed profit and loss statements.

I think I only got to love numbers when I joined a bank. Of course, in the beginning, I forced myself to look at spreadsheets and reports containing mostly numbers — all kinds of numbers and computations. Plus, I had to force myself to understand banking language like ADB, MBR, TPR, NPV, TITF, JA, CASA, FLOATS, etc. But, for anyone who knows me, I am a competitive person. I loved the challenge. So when I started understanding number, I found that I loved it and it was “actually” useful! haha! My almost 7 years of service in that bank was the best years of my life. I learned a lot and challenged myself A LOT!

When 2012 came, I went away to seek the life that I wanted, which was to become an entrepreneur. I would watch videos of Marie Forleo, Tyra Banks, Oprah and other influential women on the internet. I really admired each one of them and how they got to where they were. I saw the millions and millions of people whom they have helped. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to see how I could directly help others with a business. This dream was the foundation of Manila Workshops. When I started, it was a challenge getting our name out there. It was even more challenging to manage the “business” side of everything — from sustaining profits, controlling costs and most of all, dealing and paying taxes! I really hated that part.

I would always get stressed it if taxes was the topic. I wished for the longest time that someone would create anything like an online tax preparation system or whatever to make it easier for me. And so, with someone did notice and create a rudimentary system for me. This someone was my husband and my saviour. With this very rough local automation at home, we were able to expand the business of 3 directors to 20 directors.

The TAXUMO Story

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And this is where our Taxumo story begins. We wanted to share this process and system with other small business owners, freelancers and professionals. We created a deck of the idea that we had, and started to pitch it to different people and in different competitions. This is where we started, because it seemed that others were doing this as well. With this, we were chosen as one of the 100 startups in Asia for the Echelon e27 Summit. During this time, we were already slowly developing the product. I was talking to different possible partners and was building alliances. EJ was developing algorithm, framework and the other stuff that we had to have before developing the software.

The next chapter of our story started when we were chosen as top 25 for the Ideaspace incubation program. We got some funds to build the prototype. With the money, we hired a freelance developer who would build the working prototype for us (A big shout out to Barry! Thank you! He developed our MVP and was really good, but had to let go of the project because we didn’t have enough funds to pay him.). This is the typical challenge of a startup. If you’re going through a financial turmoil, this is normal. We were bootstrapping as bootstrapping can be. Then, we were chosen as one of the top 10 startups for the Ideaspace Acceleration program. This came in at the right time. We used the funds to speed up development. A competent team is helping us develop the new system now (shoutout to Spectres Solutions! Wooohoo!)

During this time also, we invited people to be co-founders with us. Why and how did we decide on that? Well, we knew that we needed competent people to join our team to handle different aspects of the business. We knew that we needed an accounting and taxation expert, so we invited Mark. We knew that we needed to be covered legally, so we invited Atty. Kevin. And finally, after a few months of personally handling operations and marketing, the four of us decided to invite Evan, a marketing and advertising expert, and a freelancing advocate. So that’s how our team came to be.

Today is a really important day for us — it’s Ideaspace’s Demo Day. This is where we show the world the months of hard work that we have put into our startup (thanks Charz Medoza for the great design work, our new logo and the new UI/UX that everyone should watch out for!) But forget about us, because this is the time when we share the benefits of Taxumo for all of the Philippine self employed individuals — small businesses, freelancers and professionals. You can now concentrate on starting and building your business. This is the time to REFOCUS on what matters. Refocus on your passion!


 

We know that the reason that you started this business is that you want to make a difference. You long for time to use words or photographs to tell a story. You wanted to see the smiles as your customers run their fingers on that dress that you so painstakingly created. Hearing the conversations of people after a workshop session that they are now inspired to take action makes your heart skip a beat. Seeing an email of gratitude from a US client for great VA work done makes you feel that you can conquer the world. Giving business or life coaching advice to hundreds of people on stage or even through a one on one session makes you elated. All of these things make you remember that it was passion and a sense of purpose that made you decide to start your own business or pursue this profession. This is how we feel. This is how we all should feel about our business.

So join the tribe and worry less about taxes! Pursue your passion. Leave all the taxation worries and sign up for Taxumo (http://taxumo.com). It’s should all be about YOU this 2017!

P.S. Thank you to all of our mentors (Ms. Diane, Sir Manny, Prim, Phil, Gabe, Paul, Edmond, Jojy, Jojo, Jay) and to all of those who helped us make this happen! We love you all! #TeamTaxumo