Tiny Living and Money Matters

Freelance Tax: What to do when you missed filing your quarterly tax

Have you ever seen anyone so happy at having paid her tax penalties? My husband thinks it’s a little funny that anyone would be so, but yeah, that’s what I’m happy about. I’m finally done paying my penalties for missing my 3rd quarterly tax for last year and I have a receipt to prove it, hah!

I missed filing for my 3rd quarterly tax last September and it took me a while to take care of it because I wasn’t sure on what to do. I even considered hiring an accountant already because I thought it was going to be difficult, but I decided not to give in to my baseless fears and learn the process myself, so I can teach my kids how to do it, too.

Our eldest son is turning 16 years old this year, and I told him that he will have to start being more proactive in managing his own earnings as they come — giving his tithes, depositing in his bank account and Mutual Funds, and yes, filing and paying his own taxes, because why not? The earlier they learn to handle their civic responsibilities, the better.


My nephew, Mark, is actually an accounting graduate so I asked him for help. He doesn’t really practice it because he went on to law school after he graduated, but his friend, Chelsea, knew what to do and patiently supplied me the steps I needed to take.

Just so you know, BIR encourages tax payers to file their taxes using the Offline eBIRForms Package software that you can download from the BIR site. In fact, the last time I visited our RDO, there were no longer forms available, you need to print your own and bring it.

Tax payments are also now done through GCash. You can find other options for epaying on the BIR site.

However, the eBIR software is not designed for late payments, so if you failed to file on time, you have to go to your RDO so they can calculate your incurred penalties manually and put the official BIR stamp on your form.

Waiting for my turn at the BIR office

How to file for missed quarterly tax

It’s not as complicated as I thought it would be. I logged onto eBIR, filled out my taxpayer details and chose the 1701Q form. Once I confirmed my details and clicked “submit”, the software generated the quarterly tax form which I filled out with my corresponding tax details.

Since I’m under percentage tax category, I only filled out 36A of #36, which is the field for Sales/Revenues/Receipts/Fees with the total income I received for the missed quarter.

Then, I filled out 42A of #42, which is the field on Taxable Income for the previous quarter, with, of course, my taxable income during the second quarter.

Once I clicked out of that field, the form automatically computed my Total Taxable income to Date in #45 field.

Instead of submitting the form, I printed 4 copies (actually, I printed one copy and photocopied 3 more) of my filled-out form and presented it to the Officer of the Day at my RDO. He, then, calculated my penalties, stamped on my forms, and sent me off to the bank to pay.

The banks will not acknowledge your payment without the BIR stamp on your  1701Q form, so that part is important. I was also told by the BIR staff that I cannot file my annual tax and my first quarter tax without settling my penalties.

Happy Penalty Payer!

Where to pay your tax penalties

I asked the BIR staff where I could pay my penalties and they directed me back to the Atrium building where my RDO once was, and told me that I could pay at either BPI or Landbank branches there.

You have to ask your RDO where you can go. You can’t just pay at any BPI or Landbank branches. It has to be the assigned bank for your specific RDO.

At the bank, I filled out the BIR deposit form and paid my penalties at the counter.

And that was it. I went home with a big grin on my face. Adulting is fun!

(READ: Freelance Tax, When you can’t get an OTR)

I did it! I got my proof of payment right here!

Lessons to learn

If there’s one thing I got from this, it’s, well, for one – don’t be late in filing your taxes, haha!

If you’re anxious about tax filing and all that, don’t be. The BIR staff aren’t monsters, they don’t bite. They will assist you as much as they can. You can ask them questions.

Prior to registering as a freelancer, I’ve been discouraged by BIR horror stories, but the stories are unfounded, as far as my experience goes. No one yelled at me, no one humiliated me at the BIR office, no one gave me a hard time at all!

There are tons of helpful information on the internet to help you sort it out, too! There’s Karen Timbol’s vlog on filing taxes online on YouTube and there are blogs on almost every topic on it.

And if that doesn’t help and no one else can help you, you can always go to the BIR office and ask for their assistance in filling out the form. Bring a printed one so they can just mark the numbers you need to fill out. Just remember that as with anything, the beginnings are always the harder part of the journey, but things will get easier as you roll.

Sure, the lines can sometimes be long and the wait…much more uncomfortable with your mask and face shield on. In my case, it was the line at the elevators that was vicious…but the trips I’ve made back and forth to learn all that I know now about paying taxes is priceless.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” Romans 13:1. 


  • Karla

    This is super helpful for me. To be honest, I stopped paying taxes when I became a freelancer. Whenever I need ITR for visa requirements, I just tell them that I work as a blogger/online teacher. I’d like to know more about this. For now, I’m just paying for SSS, Pagibig and Philhealth. #adulting haha!

  • Pinaynursemeetsworld

    Yay, this is a very educational, helpful and informative post. I heard that they will start putting taxes on you tubers in the Philippines? is that true? Anyway, here in the US, my husband makes our taxes, that’s why I don’t have a knowledge with taxes. In the Philippines, when I was working as a nurse, my taxes are already deducted from our salary. It’s really different. Anyway thank you for blogging this very important info for all Filipinos..


    It’s a good thing that I read your post about taxes. Di ko lang maintindihan bakit nung nakapagregister na ko at nasend ko na documents sa company ko ay hndi nila tinanggap kasi hindi umabot sa deadline nila. kaya kinakaltasan padin nila ako ng 10% ngaun, so ano na gagawin ko sa naapproved ng registration ko? kelangan o padin ba magbayad quarterly? I’m confused.

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      Wait, let me understand this. You work for a company that asked you to submit your documents to register you for tax? Then hindi nila itinuloy but they’re deducting?

      Naku, nangyari na yan sa kin before. When I was applying for my benefits, wala pala na hinulog sa kinaltas sa akin. What you can do is go to your accounting office and clarify this. And make sure they file all your taxes for you. Otherwise, you need to file a complaint.

  • Blair Villanueva

    Glad that you can also pay online. I haven’t updated my BIR status since I moved here to Australia, but I’ll let our accountant do it.
    Your guide is very helpful!

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      Haha, that’s true. But you know, I’ve made peace with that. I will do my civic duties regardless of whether they are doing theirs. What I can do is strive to be a good citizen and raise good sons, try to influence a few families, as much as I can, and perhaps, in my own little way, we can raise a new generation of government officials who will be honest and will live in integrity. My integrity as a Filipino is not dependent on the lifestyle of rotten officials.

  • Jessa Acala

    I’ve had bad experiences with government offices. I dreaded doing errands there but I have to. We all have to deal with them sooner or later. I can’t control their manners. My mindset now is that as long as I’ve accomplished what I needed to do there, I couldn’t care less about their attitude. They were the ones being mean, not me. Why should I feel bad about that?

  • WanderWoMom

    i havent gotten to the phase when i will register myself as a freelancer… i think hindi pa ako ready. im hitting a goal though na when i get a certain amount, then I will register to fulfill my duties! but ill surely read this. and i hope di ako malate mag file!

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      I know. many are afraid because there’s this misinformation that tax is expensive, but really, the taxes you will pay is based on the amount you file. Wala pa akong quarterly tax as a blogger that I had to pay more than 1K. Below 500 nga lang. Very small.

  • hyejin

    This is really helpful to many freelancers. This may help others to know what to do when they got penalties on their taxes.
    Honestly, Philippine tax is easier to understand than here.

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