VAT Philippines: Understanding Value Added Tax for Filipinos

Every taxpayer in the Philippines deserves to have a clear understanding of how the VAT (Value Added Tax) Philippines works and how it will affect them.

The following guide aims to shed some light on this complex subject and provide some tips for taxpayers who want to make sure they comply with the law. Keep on reading to discover more about VAT in the Philippines, including what it is and how it works.

VAT Philippines: What You Need to Know

Taxes in the Philippines

Individuals and enterprises in the Philippines must be aware of a range of taxes.

It can be difficult to discern which ones are relevant to your business or career. To help you, we’ll now go over one of the most common business taxes: Value-Added Tax, or VAT.

What exactly is VAT Philippines, and why is it important?

As a client, you have most likely paid VAT before, such as while renting a home or purchasing goods from a business.

Because the buyer is responsible for paying the tax, VAT is classified as an indirect corporation tax. After that, the seller submits and remits the entire VAT payment to the Internal Revenue Service (BIR).

The BIR now levies a 12% fixed VAT rate on some sales transactions. 0% VAT is available to PEZA-registered businesses and zero-rated businesses designated under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE).

In a moment, we’ll go over the various VAT-registered businesses in further detail. But, for now, consider the age-old question: what is the point of paying VAT?

More than 116 countries have implemented VAT for valid reasons, including:

  • The ease with which VAT is administered and collected minimizes the risk of tax avoidance among businesses.
  • The imposition of VAT on enterprises prior to product distribution inhibits illicit activity.
  • Almost everyone, regardless of economic status, is required to pay VAT.
  • VAT is levied on a wide range of products and commodities.
  • Firms who register for VAT gain legitimacy and a competitive advantage over noncompliant competitors. Furthermore, VAT makes it easier to build relationships with third-party services and providers.

Do you have to pay sales tax?

VAT primarily affects three types of taxpayers:

  1. Individuals or firms who voluntarily enrolled as VAT taxpayers, even if their gross sales or receipts did not satisfy the VAT aggregate amount of P3,000,000;
  2. Importers of goods.
  3. Examining your Certificate of Registration (CoR) should allow you to identify whether your company is VAT-registered or not.

Who is exempt from paying VAT Philippines?

Companies in the Philippines with actual gross sales or receipts of less than three million pesos (Php3,000,000) are exempt from paying and registering for VAT.

If you meet these standards, you will most likely be classified as a non-VAT entity.

Entities that are not VAT registered must file Percentage Tax Returns. Percentage Tax, like Value-Added Tax (VAT), is a type of business tax; however, the seller is responsible for paying the tax to the BIR.

Check your Certificate of Registration or contact your local Revenue District Office to confirm you’re paying the required business taxes (RDO).

Before filing the VAT, your firm entity must be recognized and registered with the government.

After you’ve settled in, you’ll need to become acquainted with the following BIR-mandated VAT forms:

Form 2550M, as the name suggests, must be filed monthly and within 20 days after the end of the month to which VAT applies. Form 2550M contains all VAT payables for the current month.

The Quarterly Return for Value-Added Tax, Form 2550Q, must be filed within 25 days of the end of the quarter. The entire VAT amount due for the quarter is shown on Form 2550Q.

There are no other significant variations between these forms besides the filing period, the total tax payable, and months covered.

Tax preparation can be time-consuming. Long lines, endless calculations, and a plethora of paperwork must be filled out repeatedly. You must comply, however, to avoid significant fines and business closure and create your company’s reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if a VAT-registered person issues a VAT invoice?

If a transaction involving the sale of goods or services is exempt from VAT, but the seller fails to prominently display the terms “VAT-EXEMPT SALE” or “VAT-INVOICE” on the invoice or receipt, then the transaction will become taxable and the seller will be liable to pay the VAT.

2. What is a BIR form 2307?

This form is used to declare the sale of goods and services with a value of at least P1 million. It is also used to report and pay your income tax and VAT liabilities.

3. What is the VAT rate for a government?

The government or any of its political subdivisions, instrumentalities or agencies, including government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) shall, before making payment on account of each purchase of goods and/or services taxed at twelve percent (12%) VAT pursuant to Sections 106 and 108 of the Tax Code, deduct and withhold a Final VAT due at the rate of five percent (5%) of the gross payment.

4. What is output tax?

In addition to the sales, lease, or exchange of taxable services or goods, output tax also refers to the value added tax (VAT) that is due on these transactions.

5. What does “relief” mean in tax?

The term RELIEF or “reconciliation of listing for enforcement” refers to the Bureau’s efforts to maintain a third-party information program that supports the exchange of data related to sales and purchases.

6. What is a summary alphalist?

This is a term used in accounting to refer to an alphanumeric list of items, usually in order of highest value first.

7. What does “net tax” mean?

This term in accounting refers to the amount of sales tax due minus any refunds or credits.

8. What is a sales invoice?

A sales invoice is an official document that records the sale of goods or services and can be used to claim your business’s tax deductions.

VIDEO: VAT (Value Added Tax) in the Philippines

In this video, we get an overview of what VAT is in the Philippines, what it means for businesses, and how it affects consumers. As tax-paying consumers, understanding this concept is important to know how much our money goes towards funding government projects and services. This is also a good way to avoid being overcharged for your purchases, especially if you’re buying from a company that doesn’t clearly display the VAT on their sales invoice.


Filipino taxpayers must know what the Value-Added Tax (VAT) is, how it is applied and what they can do if they have problems with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). This way, they can avoid being penalized by the BIR.

We hope that through the help of this guide, you now have a better understanding of the VAT and how it is applied. If you have other questions about VAT, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

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