Philippine economy

#AskTheTaxWhiz: What’s a TIN?

Mon Abrea
#AskTheTaxWhiz: What’s a TIN?
Your TIN questions, answered here

What’s a TIN? Is it the same as an eTIN? 

TIN refers to a Tax Identification Number, while the eTIN is a web-based application system that allows online issuance of TIN to taxpayers. TIN is applied for proper identification when filing tax returns with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) like a savings account number when transacting with the bank. The bank requires a savings account number to determine where to debit/credit a transaction. The same applies for TIN. 

Is it required? Is it possible to have more than one TIN? 

It is not required unless you’ve started earning income or will be filing a tax return. However, each person or taxpayer shall be assigned only one TIN.  The case of Zoren Legaspi allegedly having multiple TINs is an isolated one. If he is found guilty, he will be charged with criminal liability. 

Should I register for a new TIN when changing a job or starting a business?

Although you don’t need to register for a new TIN when changing a job or starting a sole proprietor business, you are required to update your registration, including but not limited to change in business address, or if you are an employee, the change in location of work. 

Further, an employee who changed location of work shall submit his request for transfer to the old or previous BIR district office either personally or by fax. It shall be the responsibility of the new employer to notify the BIR district office where they are registered by submitting the duly accomplished form (BIR Form 1905) of the new employee. 

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Mon Abrea is a former Bureau of Internal Revenue examiner and an advocate of genuine tax reform. He serves as chief strategy officer of the country’s first social enterprise, the Abrea Consulting Group, which offers strategic finance and tax advisory services to businesses and professionals. He is the founding president of the Center for Strategic Reforms of the Philippines, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower the fast-growing sector of Filipino micro, small and medium enterprises. Follow him on Twitter:@askthetaxwhiz or visit his group’s Facebook page. You may also email him at

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