In 2011, I was once asked by a fellow Internet Marketer who runs an online service, “Jaycee, why are you planning to register your online businesses and services to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)?”
Without him directly implying it in his words, his tone is somewhat screaming, “Jaycee, you’re nuts! You really are. Why would you register an online business even when you have the option to hide it? DTI and BIR won’t catch you if you won’t let them.”
Give to Caesar What Is for Caesar
The Bible says that we should give to Caesar what’s for Caesar. I will not go into details why you need to register any kind of business to DTI and BIR. But in an interview with BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, she said that websites that serve as platforms for buyers and sellers to conduct business and earn money online are held responsible for making sure that their sellers are registered to DTI and to BIR.
“We can file a case against the seller who fails to issue receipts and pay taxes, (but) we can also file a case against the (websites which provide such) service,” the BIR chief said.
In my opinion, it requires common sense to answer this question: “Do I need to register my online business to DTI and BIR even if I don’t have a physical office?” Of course, you have to. The absence of a tangible structural building is not an excuse for you not to register your online business.
Who Needs to Register Businesses to BIR
A. Business With Commercial Establishments
This announcement from BIR hits some websites on the head such as AyosDito.ph, eBay.ph and Sulit.com.ph. “The BIR has this regulation that if you have a mall and you will allow tenants to lease commercial spaces in your establishment, you have to make sure that your tenants are registered (with the BIR and the DTI),” Henares said.
According to the Revenue Regulation No. 12-2011, it states that “it shall be the primary responsibility of all owners or sub-lessors of commercial establishments/buildings/spaces to ensure that the person intending to lease their commercial space is a BIR-registered taxpayer.
B. Buy and Sell Websites
In connection to Revenue Regulation No. 12-2011, Henares mentioned, “In the same way, (if you operate a buy and sell website), you have to make sure that your members or subscribers are registered (with the BIR and the DTI). These websites have to make sure that the sellers are issuing receipts, otherwise, they will also be held responsible.”
Bottom Line: All Online Businesses Must Be Registered to DTI and BIR
I’m proud to report to you that my online businesses are registered with DTI and BIR under the name of iPresence Business Solutions. BIR does not have to issue revenue regulation to all of us (online earners) because we already know the regulations. Some of us may not fully know the technical details of these of our duties and responsibilities as taxpaying citizens but that cannot be used as an excuse. Pay a visit to any DTI or BIR office.
Let us remind ourselves that Section 237 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) states, “All persons subject to an internal revenue tax shall, for each sale or transfer of merchandise or for services rendered valued at P25 or more, issue duly registered receipts or sales or commercial invoices.”
Friends, I have one motto in life in terms of paying taxes.
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