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Tax Filing 101: 4 Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

What mistakes should be avoided when filing freelance taxes in the Philippines?

  1. Presenting incomplete and incorrect data
  2. Miscalculating the tax due
  3. Not declaring every income earned
  4. Missing the deadline

Filing taxes as a freelancer in the Philippines can be difficult and confusing. Plus, the introduction of the TRAIN law certainly doesn’t help matters. Amidst all the puzzling forms and complicated math, it’s only natural to make mistakes when you’re filing your taxes.

Of course, they should still be avoided because even though they might not lead to an audit – unless they were made deliberately – it is still in your best interest to be as accurate as possible.

Mistakes can cost you; it can delay your tax return for a significant amount of time. Even though filing your taxes can be a huge headache, you should set aside the time to accomplish them perfectly. Below are the usual mistakes people make when filing their taxes so that you know what not to do:

Presenting incomplete and incorrect data

This is probably the most common mistake taxpayers commit. This usually happens when they file their taxes close to the deadline, leaving them with little time to review their forms.

Often, they leave out relevant information like the tax period, date of filing, TIN, and even their signature! It is also possible for them to incorrectly record their SSS number, registered address, name, and other important details.

The smallest error can be grounds for incorrect filing and may get you in trouble, so make sure to review your forms and do them way before the deadline!

Miscalculating the tax due

Doing your taxes involves a ridiculous amount of math and a few dozen formulas. This is where freelancers, especially new ones, make the biggest mistakes. Mathematical errors are normal, but you still shouldn’t have any on your tax forms.

This may be your greatest hurdle as a freelancer, but it is only difficult in the beginning. As you do it more, you are less likely to make mistakes. Be sure to double-check all of your computations down to the tiniest details. Of course, you may also use some tools such as an online tax calculator that will do the work for you!


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Not declaring every income earned

Although it isn’t usually done on purpose (hopefully!), some taxpayers make the mistake of not declaring all their income. This is a big no-no because failure to declare all taxable income will lead to consequences and may even result in an audit.

Every peso that is directly related to your business or profession should be declared. Even if you didn’t receive a documentation or even if payment was given to you in cash, you are still legally required to report it.

Don’t try to leave something out thinking that the BIR won’t notice because it’s bound come back and bite you in the end.

Missing the deadlines

Missing deadlines can result in penalties that include additional payment. Instead of rightfully getting your tax return, you might find yourself paying extra because of your mistake.

You can avoid this by marking deadlines on your calendar and setting alarms on your devices weeks or even months ahead. In addition, you should also file your taxes prior to the deadline so you don’t have to cram, which as you know could lead to mistakes.

Key Takeaway

You’d be surprised at the number of mistakes people make when they file their freelance tax in the Philippines. The worst part is that these errors are easily avoidable if people just take the time to sit down and focus on their tax filing.

If you want to avoid scrutiny from the BIR and a possible audit of your business, then avoid making the mistakes written above. Be sure to also check this list every now and then when you’re doing your taxes to see if you’re on the right track!


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7 thoughts on “Tax Filing 101: 4 Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make”

  1. Ano po ang dapat gawin sa maling month na na filed sa 2550M returns. For example na lang, dapat magfile ako sa April 2021 pero hndi ko siya na change at May 2021 yung na submit ko at late ko na siya nakita at deadline na. Pero No Payment siya.

  2. What to do po if ung na submit ko at nabayaran na BIR form 1601C na month is ndi sakto. It meant for March 2023 sana pero nag error during payment at naging feb 2023 na automatic input. Pwd po ba yun ma revise? Thru gcash siya binayaran and di pa ako nakakatanggap ng reply from ebir since 3 days posting pa ung naka instruct. Kindly help po.

    1. Hello Nurs,

      Good day!

      For this case, it is best to coordinate this with your RDO and check if they will allow the revision request. 🙂

  3. I am tax exempted and has filed my 1700 year 2019-2020. Pero for year 2021, I wasn’t able to file it. I tried filing it online but there’s a fee I have to pay. Is it the penalty fee po ba?

    1. Hello Camille,

      When you’re late in filing, there are a few things that can add up:

      Surcharge: This is a set percentage of the tax you owe that’s tacked onto your bill. Typically, it’s around 25% of the unpaid tax.

      Interest: The longer you wait, the more interest you’ll accrue on the unpaid tax. This interest is usually calculated from the original due date until you settle the amount.

      Compromise Penalty: If the tax department sees that your delay was due to neglect or intentional avoidance, they might impose an extra penalty.

      It’s important to take action and file your return as soon as possible to stop these penalties from growing. If the online process is confusing or you’re not sure about the fees, it might be a good idea to reach out to your RDO or consult with an accountant. 😊

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