New rules require foreigners to get TIN before obtaining PH work permit
SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga — Foreign nationals who would like to work in the Philippines should first present a tax identification number (TIN) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
This is a new requirement under the newly signed Joint Guidelines on the Issuance of Work and Employment Permits to Foreign Nationals, which aims to ensure alien workers in the country will pay their taxes.
“Ang Department of Labor (and Employment) bago mag-issue ng Alien Employment Permit (AEP) to any foreigner, kailangang mag-submit ang foreigner ng tax identification number. ‘Yan ay isang paraan para matiyak natin na ‘yung magta-trabaho na foreigner ay magbabayad ng buwis,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a press conference after the signing of the joint guideline on Labor Day, May 1.
“We deemed it to be provided in the guidelines kasi nga para wala ng question ang lahat ng mga foreign nationals at wala na silang kawala,” Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay told reporters in a chance interview.
“Ngayon dinagdag na po natin ‘yung BIR kasi nga dahil dun sa isyu na hindi nagbabayad po ng tax ‘yung mga foreign nationals dito so talagang ang listahan po natin iikot tayo DOLE, BI, DOJ, and BIR,” she added.
Tutay explained that in 2016, BIR said a foreigner can secure an AEP even without presenting a TIN to the labor department.
“There was a time, I think 2016 nang in-issue po ng BIR na pwedeng hindi na po kumuha… na di na requirement ang tax identification number sa pag-issue ng bagong applications for AEP, ‘yung renewal lang po ‘yung hinihingan namin noon,” she said.
“So klinaro ho ngayon ‘yan ng [BIR], may letter na po silang pinadala kay Sec. Bello and from there we made that as a basis to require tax identification number whether, new or renewal application for AEP,” she added.
She explained AEP has a maximum period of use – 3 years, which is renewable depending on what is provided for in the employment contract of the foreign national and the company who is hiring them.
“The AEP is also the basis for the Bureau of Immigration to issue the working visa and ‘yung validity ng working visa is also dependent on the validity of the [AEP] that was issued,” she added.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay, Immigration Deputy Commissioner Tobias Javier, and Bello signed the joint guidelines on the sidelines of a job caravan here.
Earlier, the country’s finance department reported that the Philippines is losing at least P3 billion in tax revenues a month from foreign workers in the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo) industry who do not pay personal income taxes.
The BIR then reported that the 130,000 Chinese Pogo workers were not registered with them.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.