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Tax Notes

Requirements for foreign nationals

ON MAY 31, 2019, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 28-2019, prescribing the policies on the registration requirements for foreign nationals as part of the joint guidelines signed by the BIR, Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) to strengthen efforts in monitoring foreign workers.

Under the new guidelines, foreign nationals who intend to work or engage in trade or business in the Philippines are required to secure a taxpayer identification number (TIN) with the BIR before they can be issued the following permits: 

Foreign nationals engaging in work outside of an employment arrangement 

A special working permit (SWP) should be applied with the BI. An SWP allows foreign nationals to work under a tourist visa (9A), provided that the validity of the contract is only up to three months, which may be extended for another three months. For regulated professions, a special temporary permit should also be secured from the Professional Regulation Commission.

Foreign nationals engaging in gainful employment 

An alien employment permit (AEP) should be applied with Dole. Pending the issuance of an AEP, or with valid AEP but pending approval of a 9G work visa, a provisional work permit must be applied with the BI. An AEP is required upon applying for a 9G work visa to legally engage in gainful employment in the country.

Foreign nationals working under special industries

A working permit should be applied with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the geoscience and mining industries, and with the DOJ for nationalized or partially nationalized industries.

In securing a TIN, the requirements are as follows:


If the application is made by an authorized representative, an authorization letter indicating the name of the withholding agent and authorized representative and a photocopy of a government ID of the authorized person, are also required.

Upon transfer of employment, foreign nationals should update their registration with the BIR to the new revenue district office having jurisdiction over the place of business, in case of trade and business, or local residence, in case of practice of a regulated profession.

RMO 28-2019 takes effect immediately. Please be guided accordingly.

SOURCE: P&A GRANT THORNTON Certified Public Accountants


As published in SunStar Cebu, dated 12 June 2019