Taxes are the lifeblood of the government. Without it, there will be nothing to use to build roads and other infrastructures, provide free education for children, and deliver social services to the needy.
That’s why it’s the duty of every Filipino income earner to file their income tax returns and pay their dues to the government on time. The Bureau of Internal Revenue has set the deadline for filing of ITR for taxable year 2021 to April 18, beyond the usual April 15 deadline which falls on Good Friday.
Filing your income tax return can be very confusing and tiring, as you need to fill out many copies of the form and even line up at the BIR revenue office where you are registered. But you may also opt to file your ITR electronically and save yourself from all the hassle.
Why file your ITR electronically
Aside from the convenience, filing your ITR electronically can save you up some time because you no longer need to fill out three copies of your income tax return. You also don’t need to do any computation as the software will do it for you, making it less prone to human error.
You can also file your ITR electronically at any time of the day, even during the Holy Week break. You don’t even have to go out of your home to file your ITR, as long as you have a desktop computer or laptop and an internet connection.
What you need prepare
If you are filing your ITR for a particular taxable year, make sure to have a copy of your BIR Form 2316, or the Certificate of Income Tax Withheld on Compensation. It’s a document that your company gives you that shows how much your taxable income is, and how much of your taxes has been withheld by your employer.
You will also need to download the latest eBIRForms package, the software you will use to prepare and file your ITR. It’s an intuitive tool that allows you to input your tax figures, personal information, and other data needed in filing your ITR.
Note that the eBIRForms package can only be installed on laptops running on Windows operating system for now.
What are the steps?
Step 1: Input your personal information
When you open the eBIRForms package, you will be asked to input your Tax Identification Number or TIN, Revenue District Office code, and your personal information. These details can all be found in Part 1 of your BIR Form 2316.
On the list of BIR Forms, select “BIR Form 1700v2018”, which is the latest version of the annual income tax return for individuals earning purely compensation income. Click “Fill Up” and a prompt will come up to confirm your TIN and email address. You will then be directed to a digital version of BIR Form 1700.
Continue filling in your personal information on Part 1 of the BIR Form 1700. Note that since you have inputted your most basic information on the previous window, these are blackened in the first part of BIR Form 1700, meaning you cannot edit them anymore.
If you are also jointly filing your ITR with your spouse, input also his or her personal information in Part 2 of your BIR Form 1700.
Step 2: Input your Compensation Schedule
Notice that in Part 3 of BIR Form 1700, you cannot input the figures needed to determine your total tax payable yet.
That’s because you first need to accomplish Part VI at the second page of the form, wherein you need to input your gross compensation income and tax withheld. These information can be found on Part 4A of your BIR Form 2316.
Input the name of your company and its TIN on Items 1a and 1b, and the corresponding compensation income and tax withheld on Items 1c and 1d. It will automatically compute your gross compensation income and tax withheld.
Once done, you can proceed to Part 5A and 5C, with Items 42 and 52 automatically filled out. Check if you have “Non-taxable/Exempt Compensation” from Item 20 in your BIR Form 2316 and input the amount on Item 43 of BIR Form 1700. It will automatically compute your “Gross Taxable Compensation Income” on Item 44, your "Tax Due" on Item 47, as well as your “Net Tax Payable/Overpayment” on Item 59.
Step 3: Know how much you need to pay
Proceed to Part 3 of BIR Form 1700 in the first page, and you will see that Items 26, 27, and 28 have automatically been filled out from the previous parts.
If your “Net Tax Payable” (Item 28) is negative, it means you have no income tax to pay and you only need to file your ITR. Otherwise, you will need to pay your income tax due.
However, if your tax due (Item 26) is more than P2,000, you may choose to pay in two installments, the first tranche of which should be paid on or before April 18, and the second tranche on or before Oct. 15. The amount you should pay on the second installment should be at least 50% of the amount on Item 26.
Input the amount of your second installment on Item 29, and it will automatically compute the amount you need to pay on or before April 18 on Item 36.
Step 4: Submit your ITR
Check all the figures you inputted and click “Validate” at the bottom part of the window. Click “Save” and “Submit/Final Copy” to file your ITR. You should also print out or save a PDF file of the BIR Form 1700 for your own copy.
Wait for an automatic email from BIR to confirm that you have filed your ITR. Once you received the confirmation, you can proceed to payment.
How to pay your income tax due
Taxpayers who submitted their ITR through eBIRForms may pay their tax dues (if there are any) through GCash. Here’s how to do it:
- On the GCash app, click “Pay Bills” and select “Government” and then “BIR”.
- On “Form Series”, select “1700 (Income Tax Return)”
- On “Return Period”, input Dec. 31, 2021 or the last day of preceding taxable year.
- Input your 9-digit TIN
- Input your Branch Code, or the remaining three digits of your TIN in your BIR Form 2316. Put two zeroes before the three digits.
- Input the amount you will pay and your email address.
Once you have paid, your payment will reflect on the BIR’s system within three working days.