Adulting 101: Taxes

It was Mon's turn with the registration officer

Mon’s turn with the registration officer

Back in March, I had a long soliloquy of the year that has passed: both wins and challenges. When I decided to leave being employed full-time, I knew that we’d have to also change our status from employed to self-employed in BIR, and file our taxes accordingly based from this.

We gave ourselves a deadline that by June, we had to finish this. And finished, we did.

I personally spent weeks researching about this. We knew that we’d rather do the registration ourselves because, well, DIY-ing is life. It is also always better to know the process so we are not caught off guard and we minimize surprises. We originally intended to hire someone to do it in our behalf, but we eventually opted otherwise as that’d still a couple of thousand of pesos. Yikes.

We had been longtime employees and these matters had been usually taken care for us by our respective HRs.

As for the registration itself, BIR has been championing since lockdown for new businesses, freelancers, etc. to take advantage of the online registration via the NewBizReg portal. We almost proceeded with this as it was reportedly a streamlined way of registering. (They also have an online appointment system, by the way).

On the other hand, we’ve read mixed feedback online on how fast they process such applications. Granted we’ll have ours in Makati, which in our opinion more adaptive to new technologies/processes, we still decided to personally do it.

A bunch of paperworks- registration, receipts, and books

The result is a bunch of paperworks: Certificate of Registration (COR), BIR-printed receipts, and Books of Accounts (Had to watermark this aggressively as my Pag-Ibig check from a post in 2013 was stolen by other websites — it even had my name on those posts).

We have never printed that much document in the last 2 years. We were not sure how long the lines would be, thus we have all forms with us pre-filled. We also paid the registration fee via GCash and printed the confirmation to save us the hassle of paying over-the-counter.

We were very lost when we got there, but the arrangement of the office was very straightforward, and the staff helpful.

We had been advised to wait for the Certificate of Registration (COR) late in the afternoon. We took the time to go to Glorietta and buy some ledgers/journals (not even sure what the right term was) for our our Book of Accounts. We also eventually paid for 2 booklets of BIR-printed receipts, before finally having documentary stamps purchased for the COR (additional Php 40, or Php 60?)

My first jeepney ride since March 2020!

My first jeepney ride since March 2020!

Just a side note, I just want to put here for posterity that, I rode the jeepney for the first time after about 2 years and 3 months before the start of the lockdowns. I have not been inside once even if they had been plying the roads for several months already. We were just very cautious and unsure because COVID-19 is still out there.

It was a bit sad, however, that despite it being almost 5pm at the time, there were only a handful of commuters inside. Normally, the jeepneys at that hour would be full. I just felt bad for the jeepney drivers as the rising oil prices which also prompted them to arbitrarily raise the fare without government approval (from what I know). People were not going out that much as well.

We just handed Php 50 and did not ask for any change. We normally would spend about Php 180 for Grab anyway.

Onboarding session on how to file our taxes using this online platform

Onboarding session on how to file our taxes using this online platform

Going back to taxes, registering and having all the paperwork in order is one thing. Ensuring we follow through is another. It is a completely different set of things we had to wrap our heads around of.

After careful deliberation, we decided to proceed availing a subscription-based online tax filing service instead. While the usual feedback regarding the cost was too high, we’d rather pay Php 888/month quarterly than some potential headache. Bonus that we also managed to get some promo code from a random vlogger on YouTube to slash around Php 250 off.

But for now, we’ll celebrate as that’s one adulting task crossed off of our list. We needed to have the proper documentation as we have a lot of other things to prepare for (e.g. various visa applications, possible housing loan application for Mon in the future).


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