The Philippine government seems to take Filipino freelancers seriously. I am referring to freelancers who are BIR-certified, self-employed individuals who regularly remit payments to the PAG-IBIG fund.
I just passed the first two steps in my application for a housing loan through PAG-IBIG. It is with gratitude that I look back at the advice given to me by Ms. Jennifer M. at this forum - save and invest freelancing money at every opportunity.
For these first two steps I was required to submit invoices of my financial transactions through Upwork, the Certificate of Earnings Report, the reservation fee, bank statements, two valid identification cards, the Annual Income Tax Return, recently-paid for Quarterly ITR and Monthly Percentage Tax Return, the Certificate of Registration (as a Self-Employed individual) and a proof of billing in the form of an internet connection bill.
Since day 01, I haven't printed any of the invoices that Upwork issues. This time, I tried to tally in all invoices sent via email with the current records that I have. These business records have previously been extracted from my Reports page on a weekly basis.
I am grateful to Upwork's engineering team for consistently maintaining my records well. For more than a year that I have been freelancing without any of the invoices printed, I finally got to sit for the task and found all records complete and intact. I, however, noticed that the word "Upwork" was printed only as "work" in invoices dated September 10, 2015 until April 13, 2016. The current invoices have the full "Upwork" label when printed in black and white.
The only limitations I have is that I have been paying for my PAG-IBIG dues under the voluntary contributions category. The marketing staff member who entertained my questions advised me to resolve this issue as soon as possible. So my next few steps will be to make use of all my existing Upwork-related business documents and synthesizing these reports into one complete Financial Statement of Business and have it audited properly by a Certified Public Accountant. I also need to accomplish my Membership Status Verification Slip. Additional required documents that I need to submit include five (5) pieces of 1 x 1 I.D. pictures, a proof showing my latest premium payments made to the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) for at least two years, my Tax Payer's identification card, and a certified true copy of the latest ITR with documentary stamps attached.
I just invested my freelancing money as my reservation fee for my housing loan. But I think that the take-home message of this post is not whether or not I get to have my dream house for my family. I fully understand how it is to be sad because I tend to expect for things to happen. I also understand that I must not take my clients for granted just so I may have my dreams come true.
I would rather think that this post is about the Philippine government recognizing me, a business individual who works from home (and at internet cafes), a woman often marginalized by the society, a mother who is given an opportunity to earn without leaving my family, and myself as a freelancer.
I can still recall the experience I have had with my tax penalties. But I don't remember the pain inherent in the experience anymore.
I see a country which is able to advance economically.
I see a global platform.
I am grateful.