Truth be told, I had no intention of getting myself registered as a freelancing “professional.” (if writers are considered as “professionals” which the BIR says they are) It’s not that I do not wish to cheat on taxes despite my apprehensions and frustrations with the way things are run in the government today. Rather, my non-intent is borne out of practical reasons. One of them being I am currently a full-time employee, so I’m already paying taxes through the withholding tax deducted from my payslip. The other one is the fact that my writing gig is a part-time thing at this point, (something I stress much often) not to mention it’s a gig I am still a noob at. As such, whatever I’m getting at the moment is not that much, some of them are not even paid writing gigs, but that’s another story.
BIR, the government agency we all love to hate at times…if not often
But lately, I’ve encountered some challenges thanks to a directive by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which requires professionals to be registered. Thus, some outfits I’ve been writing or wishing to write for are asking for official receipts from their contributing writers. Unfortunately, getting an official receipt for yourself involves getting yourself registered with the BIR. So, out of a desire to avoid possible issues in the future, I decided to have myself registered with the BIR as a professional, a part-time professional that is.
For quite a while, I’ve scoured the internet and elsewhere for whatever information I could find on being registered as a part-timer. However, most information I could find pertains only to full-timers. While I eventually found out that some of the details are basically the same, still it is frustrating that part-time freelancers like myself have not much reference to look up to, especially in the aspect of taxation.
Thus, in the tradition of the previous Urban Roamer guides, I’ve decided to put out this special entry as a “public service” of sorts for fellow professionals, especially the part-time ones like writers, who are considering or in the process of having themselves registered with the BIR. It is my hope that this would serve somehow as a handy reference that you would find useful. Enough of that as we detail the process after the break.