EACH foreign national working in the Philippines is now required to secure a tax identification number (TIN) with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) even if they are working in the country for only three months.
In a BIR Revenue Memorandum Order 28-2019 released on Friday, foreign nationals with various working permits are covered by the new policy.
The order includes foreign nationals who have Special Working Permits (SWPs) or those working in the country but only have tourist visas. These workers have a contract of at least three months and renewable for another three months.
“Foreign nationals who are planning to work, engage in trade or business in the Philippines, are required to secure their TIN following existing related revenue issuances,” the memorandum stated.
“Nonresident aliens not engaged in trade or business shall be issued a TIN for withholding taxes on their income from sources within the Philippines,” the BIR added. “The withholding agent shall apply for the TIN in behalf of the nonresident aliens not engaged in trade or business.”
Foreign nationals with SWPs are required to secure their TIN with Revenue District Office (RDO) 39 in Quezon City. They are required to present their BIR Form 1904 and a photocopy of their passport.
The order excludes foreign nationals who are professional athletes, coaches, trainers and assistants; international performers with excellent abilities; artists, performers and their staff who perform before an audience for a fee; service suppliers who do not receive salaries from a Philippine source; and treasure hunters authorized to search for hidden treasure with a permit from the government.
Further, foreign nationals who are movie and television crews authorized to film in the country; foreign journalists tasked to cover specific events in the country; trainees assigned in government institutions and private entities; lecturers, researchers, trainers and those pursuing academic work in educational institutions; religious missionaries and preachers; commercial models and talents; culinary specialists; professionals; and consultants are also excluded.
Meanwhile, registered foreign nationals can also avail themselves of preferential tax rates under effective tax treaties. Currently, BIR said, the Philippines has 43 effective tax treaties.
Foreign nationals in the country who are residents of these countries may opt to file a Tax Treaty Relief Application with the International Tax Affairs Division.
“However, the tax liability of foreign nationals engaged in trade or business or are gainfully employed in the Philippines will depend on the provisions of the applicable tax treaty. Moreover, the entitlement to tax treaty relief is on a case-to-case basis depending on facts as represented by the foreign national applicant,” BIR said.
The BIR said it has effective tax treaties with 43 countries. These countries include Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria and Norway.
Other countries are Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States, and Vietnam.