Filipinos may now avail of a digital taxpayer identification number (TIN) from the comfort of their homes, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said.
In a memorandum circular dated Nov. 29, the BIR said that instead of visiting and falling in line in its revenue district offices (RDO) to get physical TIN IDs, taxpayers may secure digital ones instead.
"With this new system, we can eliminate the practice of fixers and scammers selling TIN online,” BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. said in a statement.
BIR noted that the digital TIN ID should be honored and accepted as a valid government-issued ID.
It also doesn’t require a signature, as it can be verified online via the BIR’s Online Registration and Update System (ORUS) by scanning the QR code with phone cameras.
Individual taxpayers who already have a TIN ID, whether they have physical cards or not, may apply for a digital TIN ID.
How to get your digital TIN ID
The BIR said you must first enroll an account on ORUS via orus.bir.gov.ph.
One will be asked if they’re registering as a taxpayer or tax agent, and whether they have an existing TIN or not. (It is illegal for an individual to acquire more than one TIN per the National Internal Revenue Code.)
If they have an existing TIN, they will be asked to provide personal information such as name, date of birth, civil status, gender, and email. They must create a password for their account.
Otherwise, they will first be asked whether they’re getting TIN for a foreign national, a Filipino citizen, or an overseas Filipino worker, and registering business as a professional and/or single proprietorship before providing personal information and creating a password.
Once an individual’s ORUS account is set up, they must upload their photo.
BIR said the photo must be 1x1 with a white background and no border. It must resemble the taxpayer and was taken in the last six months.
They must face the camera directly, with both ears visible, with a neutral expression or smile not showing teeth, and eyes visibly open. They must not be looking down or sideways and their face must not be covered.
Only head coverings or hats due to religious beliefs are acceptable, granted that they don’t cover the individual’s face.
Sunglasses and other accessories that will cover the face are not acceptable except for medical reasons, like an eye patch. Facemasks or veils aren’t allowed.
Those who upload unrelated photos like animals, artists, cartoons, or other people shall be subject to penalty, according to the BIR.
Photos that don’t follow the BIR’s specifications would render one’s digital TIN ID invalid.
If one wishes to update information like name, address, or change of RDO, the taxpayer may regenerate their digital TIN ID 30 days after the first one.
Taxpayers applying for the Digital TIN ID must update their email address by completing the digital S1905, or the Registration Update Sheet, and email it to their RDO. They may also use BIR’s eServices - Taxpayer Registration Related Application Portal.
The BIR noted that the digital TIN ID is free and not for sale.
The agency also warned that those who provide false information shall be slapped with a fine of at least P10,000 and imprisonment ranging from 1 to 10 years.