Corporate Tax Essentials for New Businesses in the Philippines

Starting a new business in the Philippines comes with a myriad of responsibilities, and among the most critical are tax obligations. As a Filipino lawyer specializing in corporate law, I understand how navigating the tax landscape can be daunting for new entrepreneurs. Let’s break down the essentials of corporate tax that every new business must know.

Understanding Corporate Taxation

In the Philippines, corporate tax is a levy imposed by the government on the income of entities registered as corporations. It’s important to grasp the different types of taxes that a corporation may be subject to and the relevant tax rates.

Types of Corporate Taxes

  1. Income Tax: This is the tax on a corporation’s taxable income, which is the difference between gross income and allowable deductions.
  2. Value-Added Tax (VAT): VAT is imposed on the sale of goods and services and on the import of goods into the Philippines. Some businesses may qualify for VAT exemption or choose to be VAT-registered.
  3. Percentage Tax: For businesses that are exempt from VAT, percentage tax applies. It’s a tax on gross sales or receipts.
  4. Withholding Tax: Certain payments like dividends, royalties, rents, and fees to non-residents are subject to withholding tax, where the corporation withholds a portion of the payment and remits it directly to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Corporate Income Tax Rate

As of my last update in April 2023, the standard corporate income tax rate in the Philippines has undergone changes due to the CREATE Act. Make sure to verify the current rate through official BIR channels or consult a tax professional.

Compliance Requirements

  1. BIR Registration: After SEC registration, the next step is registering with the BIR, where you’ll receive your Certificate of Registration (COR) and tax identification number (TIN).
  2. Invoicing and Official Receipts: Use BIR-registered invoices and official receipts for all transactions.
  3. Bookkeeping: Maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records, as these are critical for tax assessments.
  4. Tax Returns and Payments: File tax returns and make payments on time. The BIR website provides a tax calendar that you can use as a guide.
  5. Audited Financial Statements (AFS): Submit AFS, audited by an accredited CPA, to the BIR annually.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with tax obligations can result in penalties, including surcharges, interest, and compromise penalties. In severe cases, it may lead to criminal charges against the corporation’s responsible officers.

Tax Incentives

The Philippines offers various tax incentives for eligible businesses, especially those engaged in preferred areas of investment or located in special economic zones (SEZs). Review these incentives carefully to understand if your business qualifies.


For new businesses in the Philippines, staying on top of corporate tax obligations is non-negotiable. It is not merely about compliance but is also a demonstration of your business’s integrity and commitment to contributing to the country’s economy. Engaging with a knowledgeable tax lawyer or accountant can help ensure that you meet all your tax responsibilities and take advantage of applicable incentives.

Navigating the business landscape in the Philippines can be both rewarding and intricate. Whether you’re embarking on a new venture or scaling up, ensuring that your corporate endeavors are in line with local regulations is paramount.

At CBOS Business Solutions Inc., we pride ourselves on simplifying these processes for our clients. As a seasoned professional services company, we offer comprehensive assistance with SEC Registration, Visa processing, and a myriad of other essential business requirements. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring that your business is compliant, well-established, and ready to thrive in the Philippine market.

Why venture into the complexities of business registration and compliance alone? Allow our team to guide you every step of the way. After all, your success is our commitment.

Get in touch today and let us be your partner in achieving your business goals in the Philippines.

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Mobile No.: +639270032851

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