Updated: December 2011

16 December 2009


And he said unto them, render therefore unto Caesar

the things which be Caesar's, and unto God

the things which be God's.

(Luke 20:25, KJV)

Paying taxes in the Philippines can be cumbersome. But the good thing is that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) holds regular briefings in its regional district offices to accommodate queries from both individual and corporate taxpayers. Each attendee of said briefings is given a handout of guidelines which I have incorporated and simplified on this page for the reference of fellow freelancers1 (i.e., big time or small time, working from home or renting an office space, with regular or irregular income, and from online or on-site paid services) in the Philippines.

Registering one's source of income in his or her inland revenue bureau is not optional--it is the law (see Section 236 of the National Internal Revenue Code or NIRC).


13Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake:

whether it be to the king, as supreme;

14Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him

for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

15For so is the will of God, that with well doing

ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

16As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness,

but as the servants of God.

(1 Peter 2:13-16, KJV)


Specified due dates for filing taxes (i.e., percentage, quarterly, and annual) are marked red (see Schedule). Following the Taxpayer's Guide, I have likewise included in this guide the lists of requirements applicable to freelancers who wish to avail or continue their benefits from the Social Security System (SSS), Pag-IBIG Fund, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

I used to recommend links to sites of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in the country. But after going through a number of unpleasant experiences with a highly reputable HMO, I decided to end my HMO membership, follow my dad's advice, take personal measures in caring for my health (e.g., continue the annual physical exam, avoid staying up late, rest, exercise, observe proper diet, be grateful, etcetera), and trust God for my entire well-being. I commend these healthcare measures to you as well.

Feel free to send me an email on any relevant information that I may have missed mentioning on this page. Questions I have already received are published on the Freelancers' FAQs.

1Editor's notes:

  • Freelancers are not employees, and the people who hire them are not necessarily employers but clients. Unless the clients pay for the freelancer's tenure-related taxes and social benefits (SSS, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, and other fees mandated by law), then they are called 'employers.' Otherwise, they're your clients or customers.
  • Remember also the distinction between 'payment' and 'salary.' The compensation received from clients is called 'payment' or 'service fee' and the one received from employers is called 'salary.'
  • While the term 'Proprietor' or 'Proprietress' may (awkwardly) apply to your status as a freelancer, use instead the term 'Taxpayer,' as it is more appropriate to refer to yourself in your BIR documents.

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