How to Apply for Tax Exemption in the Philippines

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Isn’t it comforting to know that not everything you earn is taxed?

The Tax Code of the Philippines imposes tax exemption on certain incomes and transactions. Likewise, certain individuals and institutions are entirely exempted from paying taxes.

Equally important to knowing what taxes you should pay is knowing what tax exemption you’re entitled to. Here’s everything you need to know about tax exemption in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only and is not substitute for professional advice.


What is a tax exemption?

A tax exemption refers to an individual’s or an organization’s legal right to exclude all or a percentage of income/transactions from taxation. If an income or transaction is tax-exempt or tax-free, it is not part of the tax computation. This results in either lower taxes or no tax at all.


How to get a certificate of tax exemption.

Travelers applying for a visa and students applying for a scholarship can get a certificate of tax exemption from the BIR. This document—also called the BIR Certification of Exemption from Non-Filing of Income Tax—is what you need to secure if you can’t submit an income tax return (ITR) because you’re tax-exempt.


Requirements for BIR certificate of tax exemption.

  • A notarized affidavit of non-filing of ITR/no income/as OFW from a notary public (must include details such as the source of income [if any], the reason for non-filing of ITR, and purpose of the certification)
  • Barangay Clearance or Barangay Certificate of Indigency
  • Certificate of No Property (a document certifying you’re not paying real estate tax) from the city/municipal assessor’s office)
  • For OFWs/children of OFWs: Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or any certification from the POEA that you or your parent is an overseas worker


Steps to apply for certificate of tax exemption.

  1. Go to the Revenue District Office (RDO) having jurisdiction over your place of residence (Don’t know where your RDO is? Check this list of RDOs in the Philippines).
  2. Proceed to the Taxpayer Service Section and submit the requirements for the certificate of tax exemption.
  3. Pay the certification fee (Php 100) and documentary stamp tax (Php 15).
  4. Receive the certificate from the BIR officer.

If you’re a student, you can apply for tax exemption certification by yourself—no need for your parents to accompany you, especially if they live too far away. The BIR doesn’t require the presence of the tax-exempt parents when processing a certificate of tax exemption for students.


About the Authors.

Miguel Dar is a CPA and an experienced tax consultant who specializes in tax audits. He provides tax advice to various start-up enterprises and clarified tax concerns of individual taxpayers. This includes assisting clients in registering their businesses, tax and bookkeeping training for start-up businesses, settling open cases, tax planning for future tax compliance and answering tax-related inquiries. Connect with him on Linkedin.

Venus Zoleta is an experienced writer and editor for nearly 15 years, covering topics on personal finance, travel, government services, and digital marketing. Her background is in journalism and public relations. In her early 20s, she started investing and purchased a home. Now, she advocates financial literacy for Filipinos and shares her knowledge online. When she’s not working, Venus bonds with her pet cats and plans her next travel adventure.


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4 thoughts on “How to Apply for Tax Exemption in the Philippines

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