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Step-by-Step Guide on How to File Income Tax Returns in Philippines

Clear-cut truth: Filing your income tax returns (ITR) is like going to the dentist. Most people would love to avoid it but failing to do so at the right time will incur consequences.

What are Income Tax Returns?

This simply means that you have to file your proof of income tax payments. You must declare your total income, investments, salary deductions, and paid tax from the previous year. You may file your ITR quarterly or yearly.
Aside from paying off taxes as a good citizen, you need to set aside one working day to file your Income Tax Returns.
Now, you don’t have to procrastinate. There is no need to join the mob of people hassling themselves on the deadline of April 17th. There are now various ways of filing your ITR in your Revenue District Offices.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to File Income Tax Returns in Philippines

 

How Do You File your Income Tax Returns?

  1. Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS)
  2. Electronic BIR Forms (eBIRForms)
  3. File your ITR Personally

Most Filipinos dread filing tax returns. We are so used to the idea that filing anything in government institutions painfully takes time and too much effort. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) recognizes the need to make the process easier by making the Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) and Electronic BIR Forms (eBIRForms) easily accessible.
Whether filing through online or personally, here is the list of documents you’ll need:

Required documents when filing for Income Tax Returns

Here is the list of requirements you need to prepare when you file your income tax returns. It depends on your source of income. 

Employed:

  • Filled up BIR Form 1700
  • BIR Form 2316

Self-employed individuals and those with various income sources:

  • Filled up BIR Form 1701
  • Certificate of BIR Form 2316/ Certificate of BIR Form 2307/ Certificate of BIR Form 2304
  • Tax debit memo
  • Proof of prior year’s excess tax credits
  • If your income exceeds P150,000, you need to present an Account Information Form (AIF) or Audited Financial Statements

Corporations and partnerships:

  • Filled up BIR Form 1702
  • Certificate of BIR Form 2304 and/or Certificate of BIR Form 2307 (whichever is applicable)

Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS)

The online filing of annual income tax return system was developed by BIR to help taxpayers file their ITR easily. However, it is highly recommended that you use a desktop or laptop with a good internet connection.

eFPS Registration

Step 1. Open your internet browser, search for the BIR website, or type in www.bir.gov.ph.
Step 2. Click on the eFPS icon to be directed to the eFPS home page.
eFPS of income tax returns
Step 3. Click on “Enroll to eFPS.”
eFPS | Step-by-Step Guide on How to File Income Tax Returns in Philippines
Step 4. Fill in the needed information in the eFPS enrollment form. Make sure all the information is accurate.
BIR EFPS | Step-by-Step Guide on How to File Income Tax Returns in Philippines
Step 5. Click on the “Submit” button. You are supposed to see a pop-up message saying that your application has been sent and received by the system. This does not mean you have been approved.
You need to wait three to 10 days to get an e-mail message from the BIR confirming your enrolment status, which could either be approved or disapproved.

e-Filing a Tax Return

  • A system-generated filing reference number (FRN) will be issued for each of your successful filing transactions.
  • The FRN will be located in the upper right-hand corner of your tax return. The absence of the FRN means you have not filed your ITR. You can print your ITR through the Tax Return Inquiry facility.
  • You can secure your e-filed tax returns certification in the RDO where you are currently registered.

How to Use Electronic BIR Forms (eBIRForms)?

If you opt for eBIRForms, this is your guide on how to fill up ITR form online. 

Step 1. Download the latest eBIRForm Offline package, then log out of the website. You can use these forms while you are offline. This is to lessen the traffic and loan on the BIR website.
Simply, if you fill-up the forms online, you might experience technical problems due to the volume of people simultaneously using the site as well.
Step 2. Install the package on your desktop. This way, you can view and create new tax return forms anytime you need to. After accessing it, you need to fill up the Profile Screen.
How to Use Electronic BIR Forms
Step 3. Choose the form you need from the “List of BIR Forms.” Click the button “Fill-Up” and fill in the required data in the new form.
How to Use eBIR Forms
Step 4. Make sure all of the information are accurate.
Step 5. Go online again.
Step 6. Submit the accomplished tax return to Online eBIRForms by clicking “Submit.”
Step 7. The FRN will be generated as proof that the tax return has been received. The page will also display “The form has been successfully filed.”
Step 8. If the return submission was unsuccessful, click the “Final Copy” button to access the alternative way to submit tax returns. You might be directed to your eFPS account.
Step 9. The system will send you an e-mail confirming receipt of the tax returns.
Step 10. If you have default payment, you can pay through online banking to the Authorized Agent Bank of your RDO or pay over–the–counter.

Benefits of eBIRForms

  • Validate ITR Forms
  • Save
  • Edit
  • Print
  • Submit to Online eBIRForms and FTP

Now you know how to file ITR online Philippines. But if you prefer to process it face-to-face, you can still do it. 

How to file ITR Philippines Personally?

There are some taxpayers who are still comfortable filing their ITR personally. This only takes three (3) steps.
Step 1. 1700 online filing begins when you download the ITR form. Make you have filled in all the important areas.
Step 2. Proceed to the Authorized Agent Bank of RDO where you are currently registered and present your filled out BIR form and required documents.
Step 3. Receive duly stamped and validated form as proof of ITR filing.
While it seems quick (just 3 steps), remember that you need to spend one working day at your RDO. Expect a long line of people waiting for you.

Where to get ITR Philippines?

If you need to get a copy of your ITR, there are various ways to retrieve it. 

Contact BIR Customer Assistance Division 

Also, you may contact them for other essential BIR-related documents. Use the following contact details. 

  • Hotline number: 8538-3200
  • Trunkline number: 8981-7000 or 8929-7676
  • Email address: contact_us@bir.gov.ph

Check eFPS

Using your eFPS account, view your previously paid income tax returns. Follow these steps.

Step 1. Log in to your eFPS account. 

Step 2. Look into the eFPS User Menu

Step 3. Click the “Tax Return Inquiry” button.

Following these steps helps you how to get ITR online. 

Request ITR via FOI Website

Another way to get your ITR copy is from the Freedom of Information (FOI) Program. It permits transparency, so you can request details about your government transaction and operations. Here’s how to get ITR online Philippines. 

Step 1. Visit www.foi.gov.ph

Step 2. Log in to your FOI account. If you still don’t have one, create an account. 

Step 3. In the dashboard, you’ll see all the account owner’s requests.

Step 4.  Look for the “Make a Request” button. Then, select the agency you will need. In this case, BIR. 

Step 5. Click “Write My Request.”

Step 6. Complete the requisition form. Make sure to provide all the needed information like: 

  • Document Title (Income Tax Returns)
  • Period Covered
  • Purpose of Use
  • Your Message

Step 7. Submit it. Then, your request will be forwarded to the Receiving Officer of the relevant agency. 

Step 8. Wait for your request to be approved. It takes 15 working days for standard processing time. 

Filing tax returns is no fun at all, but this is a responsibility we need to face. As the BIR put it, if you love your country, you need to pay your taxes.
If you haven’t filed your tax returns yet, make sure to do so before April 17 to avoid penalties and charges.

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