Tax Planning Serivces for Online Businesses

The phenomenon of online selling…  

…is vast and still growing. From online selling queens like eBay and Amazon to individual sellers trying their luck on some of the most popular social media sites, more people are opting to do business and gain relatively larger amount of profits through the supple world of the Internet.

Having been among the top countries which consume the most internet usage, the Philippines is inevitably affected by this worldwide phenomenon. Especially in metropolitan cities like Davao, people find it more convenient to put up online stores than building classic brick-and-mortar storefronts. And the major reason why? To flee from the meticulous (and often long) processing of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) documents.

This phenomenon has been keeping good consistent reasons for a while now. Until BIR’s eagle eye has found the loophole that might pose a big threat to break this long string of consistency (more discussion on the latter part of this article).

As an online seller, perhaps the first thing you need to do is to hire tax planning services in Davao City to ensure the legalities and to avoid corresponding penalties for your online business. And as an individual who acknowledge the thought of engaging in online selling, before knowing your rights and limitations in the legal department of taxes, you need to have the knowledge about the following, first and foremost:

  •  The advantages and disadvantages of online selling
  • Top recommended online selling sites in the Philippines
  • Your (future) obligations to the local government as an online seller


The perks and disadvantages (of selling online)


  1. Worldwide coverage. – The Internet marketplace spans any location in the world that has a web connection. Besides the possibility of gaining more customers, it gives you the opportunity of expanding your business to a larger extent – that is, worldwide.


  1. Reduced Overhead. – When compared to the traditional set up of a storefront, you do not need a number of employees to run your business, thus reducing your overhead dramatically.


  1. 24/7 Operations. – As long as you have an Internet access, you can adapt to the global time changes and allow updates for reservations any time, therefore increasing your profits margins.


  1. No added expense for utilities and rent. – For most retail stores, rent expenses and rates for electricity and water are things that cut off their profits the most. By selling online, you only have to pay for your online connection, electricity, and occasional computer unit maintenance.



  1. Trust and scam issues. – It is human instinct to doubt the credibility of buying online from people who they do not personally know about. They will not know the 100% quality of your product from photos alone or they can mistake you for an online scammer. You have to make extra efforts to make them trust you, and oftentimes, this will take a lot of time.


  1. Payment concerns. – Just as how simply they cannot trust you, you also cannot trust them easily with regards to payment schedule adherence. Most online sellers demand payment prior to delivery, but again, this will trigger your buyers’ trust issues – leading to more often than not, contract termination.


Top online selling sites in the Philippines

The online selling site you choose will greatly affect your sales. Refer to some of the most recommended sites below and get to know more about each site from the excerpts we found on the “About” sections of their websites:


  1. SULIT ( is a buy and sell website catering primarily to the Filipino market.

It is the leading online classified ads and marketplace in the Philippines where people buy and sell a wide variety of goods, products, and services under different categories, including: buy and sell real estate, cars and automotives, services, jobs, business and earning opportunities, establishments and business locators, and events announcements.


  1. eBay (

Launched in 1995, eBay started as a place to trade collectables and hard-to-find items. Today eBay is a global marketplace where businesses and individuals can buy and sell practically anything.

You don’t have to register to take a look at what’s available, but you will need to register if you want to buy or sell. Registration for eBay is free.


  1. Ayos Dito ( is a website for Pinoys to buy and sell online, no matter what region they are in the Philippines. They are committed to make your online buying and selling as worry-free and as hassle-free as possible. Best of all, they sort buying and selling by region, province and city, so you can cut down on shipping expenses. You can always find what you need at a location near you with no problems, no waiting time and you get the best possible deal.


  1. OLX (

OLX claims to be the next generation of free online classifieds. They provide simple solutions to the complications involved in selling, buying, trading, discussing, organizing, and meeting people near you, wherever you may reside.


  1. Facebook (

Really, there’s no need to provide an overview about Facebook. There are about 1 billion Facebook users today and over 30 million of which are Filipino users, making Philippines the 8th in Facebook user ranking worldwide ( With these large figures, the number of your possible customers is close to infinite.


  1. Multiply (


Multiply is a vibrant Social Shopping destination that feels like a visit with friends to the Shopping mall, but faster and more convenient.

Store owners use Multiply as an easy and free way to open a shop, with unlimited storage for posting photos, videos and blogs about their products. Multiply’s social media tools also allow shops to spread the word through their network of customers and fans, and help shoppers learn more about products and share their opinions and experiences with each other.


But before you sign up in any one of the above sites, it is best to know about the latest buzz in online selling and buying:


THE BIG BUZZ: BIR to run after online businesses

On the last quarter of 2012, attentions of online sellers from all over the Philippines were called and some transactions temporarily came to a halt after BIR has announced that they will go after online sellers who fail to issue electronic invoices to customers.

Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares told reporters that online businesses – such as those mentioned above – would have to be registered with the BIR.

While there may be a lot of negative responses from the online sellers’ side, authorities from above have stressed out that doing online business is similar in one way or another to the typical brick-and-mortar business, WITHOUT the hassles of processing building permits, mayor’s permit, etc., and also skipping the fees corresponding to these documents – a situation deemed unfair to those who sell via “physical stores”.

Although this regulation is still in draft, the Malacanang Palace has already seconded this notion, and is now only waiting to fully implemented.


Do taxes also apply to small-scale online sellers?

Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson, explained that “the national internal revenue [code] states that if you are a seller and that you engage in retail then, you are subject to tax unless you can show the BIR that you are exempted under a particular law”.

But for small, starting individual online sellers like you, Malacanang has clarified that the government would only go after “big” online retailers and not after those who sell second-hand items on part time basis.



Why you need tax planning services for your Davao online businesses.

Starting an online business requires only a small amount of capital, a computer and an Internet connection, and a lot of Internet marketing skills and courage. But when done on a regular basis, those who have started out as small-scale online retailers are usually enticed to venture into the larger market. But you know what this means: bigger BIR responsibilities. So as early as now, you might want to consider hiring someone or some professional people to do some tax planning services for your Davao online business.

In the end, it pays to abide by the law – but it is certainly more convenient if you have someone do it all for you. Hire someone in Davao City for excellent tax planning services now.



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