Attention, Small Business Owners: DTI Says No Need for Tax Registration

Take note in case you own a small food business!

IMAGE Olga DeLawrence/Unsplash

There's been a huge surge of small businesses and online shops opening since Metro Manila was placed under quarantine in March. With most people confined to their homes, local bakers and home cooks of all kinds have been looking to turn their humble talents into profitable businesses, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has made working regular office jobs much more difficult.

If you own a small food business or are in the process of putting up your own independent online shop or food service, here's something you ought to know: The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says small online sellers are exempted from registering their business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

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Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo that small businesses with annual earnings at P250,000 and below are qualified for the exemption.

However, Lopez continued to encourage small business to register with the BIR, stating that the DTI's goal has always been for all informal businesses to register. "We also believe in the principle na kung gusto mong lumaki ang negosyo mo, kailangan magregister ka, (if you want your business to grow, you have to register)," he noted.

"This is really for consumer protection," Lopez added, noting issues about online scams or incorrect business practices that had been observed by the department from small online businesses and sellers. Should such brands register with the BIR, says Lopez, there will be an element of "traceability" that will prevent these types of malpractice.

For now, we suggest exercising caution and doing research before buying from unknown online sellers. And if you have your own small business, feel free to make use of the exemption, but consider Lopez's word, too if you're planning on growing your small brand in the coming years.

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