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  By Emerson P. Redor, CPA

The legal basis for BIR accreditation as tax agent can be found in Section 6 (G) of the Tax Code of 1997 wherein it provides that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue shall accredit and register, based on their professional competence, integrity and moral fitness, individuals who regularly prepare and file tax returns, statements, reports, protests, requests for rulings, and other papers with, or who regularly appear before the BIR in behalf of taxpayers for a consideration.

The implementing rules for BIR accreditation as tax agent/practitioner are contained in BIR Revenue Regulation no. 15-99.

Under the rules, a tax agent/practitioner may be a CPA, lawyer or even a nonprofessional.

In a BIR communication dated June 6, 2005 and signed by then Deputy Commissioner for Legal and Inspection Jose Mario Bunag, it was clarified that audited financial statements normally attached to income tax returns being filed with the BIR need not be signed by BIR accredited CPA-tax agents/practitioners.

Steps in Applying for BIR Accreditation:

1. Accomplish Application for BIR Accreditation (Individual) form (BIR form 1916) in two copies.

Supporting documents needed:

a. photocopy of your latest income tax return;

b. photocopy of your CPA Board Certificate, PRC ID card and current PTR;

c. original copy of Certificate of Membership in good standing from PICPA and/or ACPAPP;

d. original copies of two duly notarized Certificates of good moral character executed by a lawyer or a CPA who is a PICPA member in good standing;

e. original copy of Clearance from the BIR Prosecution Division (be ready to pay Php130.00 for certification fee and documentary stamps); and

f. photocopies of Certificates of tax related Seminars attended (at least 24 hours during the last two years).

2. Accomplish two sets (3 copies each) of BIR Payment form ( BIR form 0605 ) for payment of processing fee of Php500.00 and registration fee of Php500.00. This may be paid in the bank where you usually do BIR related payment transactions. Attach a photocopy of your duly accomplished BIR form 1916 to each of your form 0605.

3. After paying the processing and registration fees of Php1,000.00, file your duly accomplished BIR form 1916 and supporting documents together with photocopies of the bank-received BIR forms 0605 and bank receipts with the BIR Revenue District Office which has jurisdiction over your place of tax practice. Do not forget to bring the original supporting documents for validation by the receiving BIR employee.

4. The receiving BIR employee stamps "Received" your BIR form 1916 and supporting documents. Keep the "Received" duplicate of your application form for follow-up of your Certificate of Accreditation as Tax Agent/Practitioner. As per our inquiry, normal processing time of the BIR is about two months.