It’s the lovely month of April when all above-minimum income wage earners are required to fill out the long blue forms and the short white forms and make the necessary (no to mention confusing, at least to me) computations of the amount of money the government takes from us to spend for the betterment of the country and my countrymen and, indirectly, myself.

Aside from the fact that I and millions of other taxpayers have very little (if any) say on how our tax pesos are being spent, the thing I dislike about filling out forms is not the computation or the redundancy of forms, but my handwriting.

My handwriting, if you will forgive the teen-age locution, sux. And it sux even big time when I’m filling out forms.

I attribute the degradation of my handwriting to the same technology that has provided me with gainful employment for the past 15 years: the computer. I used to be one of the students with the best handwriting back in school. Now my handwriting can best be described as the ground after the chickens have had their lunch.

Click here to go straight to the BIR Forms PageEnter the Bureau of Internal Revenue Website. Now this is one of the things I am glad my taxes are being spent on. The BIR Forms page has all the major forms required of a Filipino citizen to make sure that the things which are Caesar’s are deducted from all forms of income. At least now they’ve made it easier for me because now I just have to type everything in and then print them out. The only thing lacking is my John Hancock (not!) and I take care of that seven times (four for the short white forms, three for the long blue ones).

If you’re in the Philippines and in the same boat as I am, these are the exact forms that you need:

  • Form 2316: Employer’s Certificate of Compensation Payment / Tax Withheld (ZIPped Excel | PDF)
  • Form 1700: Annual Income Tax Return for Individuals Earning Purely Compensation Income (ZIPped Excel | PDF)

I recommend downloading the Excel format as they are easier to fill out, just make sure you print preview and make the necessary adjustments where the form is not entirely wysiwg. But if you do have Adobe Acrobat installed, you can work with the PDF versions of the files by enabling the Typrewriter tool in Acrobat.

The other good thing about filling out the digital forms is that I can zoom in (200% is comfortably readable for me) on the fields and negates the need (for now anyway) of reading magnifiers, which I am as yet too proud to get.

Three more days till deadline! Happy filing!

The Taxman Cometh

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