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Philippines – Taxation

The taxation system in the Philippines is governed by the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), which outlines the rules and regulations for taxation in the country. The tax system in the Philippines is progressive, which means that individuals with higher income are taxed at a higher rate than those with lower income.

Double Taxation Agreements

The Philippines has entered into double taxation agreements with several countries to prevent double taxation of income. Some of the countries that have signed a double taxation agreement with the Philippines include the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Main Taxes for Expats

As an expat in the Philippines, there are several taxes that you need to be aware of, including:

Income Tax

Expats who work in the Philippines are subject to income tax, which is calculated based on their income. The tax rates for income tax range from 0% to 35%, depending on the amount of income earned.

Value-Added Tax (VAT)


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Value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax that is levied on the sale of goods and services. The VAT rate in the Philippines is currently set at 12%.

Capital Gains Tax

Expats who sell assets in the Philippines are subject to capital gains tax. The tax rate for capital gains tax in the Philippines is 6%.

Withholding Tax

Withholding tax is a tax that is deducted from an individual’s income at the source. In the Philippines, expats who receive income from sources such as dividends, interest, and royalties are subject to withholding tax.

Special Tax Breaks for Expats

As an expat in the Philippines, there are several special tax breaks that you may be eligible for, including:

Special Economic Zone Tax Incentives

The Philippines has several special economic zones that offer tax incentives to foreign investors. These tax incentives include income tax holidays, reduced rates of income tax, and exemption from value-added tax.

Tax Treaty Benefits

Expats who are citizens of countries that have signed a double taxation agreement with the Philippines may be eligible for certain tax treaty benefits, such as reduced rates of withholding tax on dividends, interest, and royalties.

Filing a Tax Return in the Philippines

Expats in the Philippines are required to file an annual income tax return (ITR) with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The deadline for filing the ITR is April 15th of the following year.

To file an ITR, expats must first obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the BIR. They can then file their ITR electronically using the BIR’s online eFPS system or by submitting a hard copy of the form to the BIR.

Tax Exit Procedures for Leaving the Philippines

If you are an expat leaving the Philippines, you are required to settle any outstanding tax liabilities before you can leave the country. This includes filing your final income tax return and paying any taxes owed.

Once you have settled your tax liabilities, you must obtain a certificate of tax clearance from the BIR, which certifies that you have no outstanding tax liabilities in the Philippines. You must present this certificate to immigration authorities when leaving the country.

In conclusion, expats in the Philippines are subject to several taxes, including income tax, value-added tax, capital gains tax, and withholding tax. However, there are also several special tax breaks and incentives available to expats, such as special economic zone tax incentives and tax treaty benefits. It is important for expats to understand their tax obligations and file their tax returns on time to avoid penalties.


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