Self-employed: How to register with BIR

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BIR mandates the following requirements and procedures for self-employed individuals and professionals who are yet to register for tax filing

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) came under fire early this month for a print advertisement depicting doctors as tax cheats. (READ: Doctors condemn ‘unfair’ BIR ad)

The ad, which showed a doctor riding piggyback on a teacher, was part of the bureau’s name-and-shame campaign. The campaign aims to boost revenue collections from different taxpaying sectors, particularly the self-employed. (READ: Why do we pay taxes?)

The self-employed are persons who work for themselves instead of an employer, who pays a salary.

BIR defines the self-employed as:

  • persons engaged in business and who derive their personal income from such business
  • professionals such as (1) “persons who derive their income practicing their profession” like lawyers, and those registered with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) such as doctors, dentists, certified public accountants, and others; and (2) those “who pursue an art and make their living therefrom,” including writers, athletes, and others. Freelancers and home-based service providers also fall under professionals

Like employees, the self-employed are required to register with BIR for tax filing. Below are the requirements and process of registration.


  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • Mayor’s Permit, if applicable
  • DTI Certificate of Business Name, if applicable
  • PRC ID, if applicable
  • Payment of Professional Tax Receipt (PTR), if applicable
  • Affidavit indicating the rates, manner of billings, and the factors considered in determining service fees (as specified in BIR Revenue Regulation 4-2014)


Step 1

Application for registration will be faster if you already have a Tax Identification Number or TIN. Obtain a TIN via the BIR website or the BIR portal. Issuance of TIN is free of charge.

Step 2

Accomplish the Application for Registration (BIR Form 1901) with the applicable required documents, and submit to the Revenue District Office (RDO) that has jurisdiction over the place of business.

Step 3

Pay the P500 annual registration fee using the payment form (BIR Form 0605) at any authorized bank located within the same district.

Step 4

Pay the P15 Certification Fee and the P15 Documentary Stamp Tax. A form will be given, which the taxpayer will be attaching to the registration certificate later on.

Step 5

Attend the required taxpayer’s briefing at the RDO before the release of the BIR Certificate of Registration (COR or BIR Form No. 2303) and the “Ask for a Receipt” Notice (ARN). The COR will reflect the returns that must be filed and the taxes to be paid.

Step 6

Apply for Invoices/Receipts using the Authority to Print form (BIR Form 1906).

Step 7

Register books of accounts (Journal/Ledger/Subsidiary Professional Income Book and Subsidiary Purchases/Expenses Book) and have them stamped by the same RDO.


Once a self-employed individual has already registered for tax payment, he or she will be required to do the following:

  • conspicuously display the BIR Certificate of Registration (COR) and the “Ask for a Receipt” Notice in the professional’s place of business, if applicable
  • maintain books of accounts. For those whose quarterly revenues exceed P150,000, they shall have their books of accounts audited and examined by an independent certified public accountant, and shall have their books accompanied by relevant documents (such as certified balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and others), if applicable
  • issue receipts or invoices for every payment received

– Reynaldo Santos Jr/, research by Loren Bustos and Sandro Lorenzo

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