Press Releases

BIR grants Salceda request for OFW TIN registration for investment purposes; BIR says “fully online” application process one of its projects for 2022

January 20th, 2022

In response to a request from House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district), who oversees the tax collection agencies for the lower House, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said that a “fully online experience” on TIN registration for OFWs is one of its projects in 2022.

The BIR made the commitment following a letter from Salceda to BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay which requested the agency to allow OFWs to apply for tax identification numbers or TINs without the need for physical appearance. This, Salceda says, will be an opportunity “for OFWs who may be particularly interested in investing in Philippine stocks as a means for preparing for their return to the country and to secure the future of their family.”

“Due to the requirement that taxpayer information be verified by personal appearance in the Revenue District Offices (RDOs), OFWs who are still abroad are unable to open stock brokerage accounts without their TINs – and because getting a TIN requires personal appearance, they are practically locked out of the market,” Salceda wrote to BIR.

On top of its commitment to make the application process fully online starting 2022, the BIR also said that OFWs may now apply for TINs through an authorized representative or via email if they need the TIN to contribute to the Personal Equity and Retirement Account or PERA.

“Of course, once OFWs have a TIN for PERA purposes, they will then be able to use that TIN for applying for a brokerage account, so this is good news,” Salceda said.

Salceda adds that OFWs remit around USD 12 billion annually, “which makes them a bigger source of foreign currency than even foreign direct investments. Imagine if we were able to invest some of their remittances in worthwhile programs and projects.”

“Financial security after their stint abroad remains a challenge for OFWs, and allowing them to invest in stocks is one good way to help secure their future,” Salceda added.

“We will continue to work with the BIR to make sure that the experience is convenient, quick, and secure,” the House tax chair said.

Law against bad investments nears passage

Salceda also said that he is optimistic that the Consumer Financial Protection Act will be passed before Congress adjourns this year.

Salceda said that the passage of the law will be good for OFWs as they tend to be “frequently targeted by scammers who present fake or fraudulent investment schemes.”

This week, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that the Consumer Financial Protection Act has a “strong chance” of being enacted in the 18th Congress if “interpellations are not heavy.”

Salceda is principal author of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, which has already been approved on 3rd reading in the House. #

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