What is BIR Form 2316 and why is it important?

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The BIR Form 2316 (Certificate of Compensation Payment/Tax Withheld) is an official document that indicates an employee’s gross income and the corresponding taxes withheld by the employer during the year.

This certificate is enough proof that an employee’s income was subjected to income tax during a particular year.

Aside from being proof of income and tax withheld, the BIR Form 2316 is also used for other purposes:

  • Proof of financial capacity for credit card, loan, visa, scholarship, and other applications
  • Financial document to meet the requirements of government offices and private institutions
  • A pre-employment requirement that employees submit to their new employer for accurate computation of their annual income tax for the year
  • Reference for employees to verify if their employer has withheld their taxes correctly and paid to the BIR
  • Proof of tax payment for availing of tax credits by expats in their home country

 

Are ITR and BIR Form 2316 the same?

No. Although the income tax return (ITR) and the BIR Form 2316 are often used interchangeably, they are two different tax forms.

The ITR is a tax return, while the BIR Form 2316 is a certification of an employee’s income and taxes withheld. Employers must attach Form 2316 to the annual ITR (BIR Form 1700 for employees receiving purely compensation income or BIR Form 1701 for mixed-income earners) when filing their employees’ income tax.

However, for employees under the substituted filing system, the BIR Form 2316 with the BIR’s “received” stamp serves as their ITR.

 

Who can receive a BIR Form 2316?

Employers accomplish and file the BIR Form 2316 with the BIR and then issue a copy to each employee.

Particularly, the following people can expect to receive a copy of the BIR Form 2316 from their employers:

 

When and how often can I get my BIR Form 2316?

The Tax Code requires all employers in the Philippines to issue the BIR Form 2316 to their employees on or before January 31 every year and submit a copy to the BIR by February 28.

You should receive a copy of this BIR certificate just once per year. But if you resign or get terminated from your current job, you’ll receive your BIR Form 2316 along with your Certificate of Employment on the day your backpay is released (typically one month after the resignation/termination effectivity date).

When you change jobs, make sure to get the last copy of your BIR Form 2316 from your previous employer and that you submit it to your new employer. This document will be your new employer’s basis for computing your annual income tax for the year.

 

How can I get a copy of my ITR?

1. If you lost your latest copy of BIR Form 2316 and you need it for your credit card/visa/loan application.

You won’t be able to get another copy from your employer. It’s because employers have only one original copy per employee, and they’re required to distribute it only on two occasions: by January 31 of every year and on the day of release of separation pay to the resigned/terminated employee.

Can I get the Form 2316 from the BIR, you might ask. Unfortunately, the BIR won’t be able to grant such a request because copies submitted to the agency go straight to its warehouse.

Lesson learned: Each time your employer issues your BIR Form 2316, keep your copy somewhere safe but you can easily remember.

 

2. If your employer refuses or forgets to issue your BIR Form 2316/does not file your income tax.

Talk to the HR staff or approach your employer directly to raise your concern about your BIR Form 2316.

If your employer still fails to provide you with a copy, call the BIR hotline to report about the violation and ask about the right course of action.

Erring employers are subject to a penalty fee of Php 1,000 for each failure to file or submit a BIR Form 2316. If the violation goes on for at least two consecutive years, the employer will be held liable and fined Php 10,000 and jailed for at least one year, in addition to paying a penalty fee of Php 1,000 for each failure.

 

3. If you’re a freelancer/professional/consultant rendering services to a Philippine-based company.

Because you’re not an employee of the company, don’t expect to receive a BIR Form 2316 from your client, even if it has withheld taxes from your pay.

If you wish to check if your client pays your expanded withholding tax properly to the BIR, you should request the BIR Form 2307 (Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld at Source) if you’re not receiving one yet. Your client should send you a copy of this tax form on or before the 20th day of the following month after every quarter.

If you need an ITR for loan/credit card/visa purposes, you should prepare, compute, file, and pay your income tax using the appropriate tax return (BIR Form 1701 or 1701A). Don’t forget to deduct from your income tax the amount withheld by your client, and then attach your copy of BIR Form 2307 to your ITR when filing it with the BIR.

Your receiving copy of BIR Form 1701 or 1701A with a “received” stamp is the one you must submit as an ITR for your loan/credit card/visa application.

Go back to the main article: How to File Income Tax Return in the Philippines: A Beginner’s Guide