Filing Taxes

The first time I needed to pay taxes when I was working for SGS Philippines. I was a quality analyst/chemist there and the HR was pretty cool in handling all the paper work for my taxes, all I needed to do is check it out and sign. I never really understood how to file taxes and the people at SGS was cool.

My second job was teaching college chemistry subjects at DLSU while taking up my master’s degree in Chemistry. When it was time for taxes, I just consulted my colleagues that have the same employee rank as me with the same salary, and copied their forms since our forms would be pretty much the same. And I ever really understood everything.

I then went into business. My first business was the now closed computer shop Click Me! Computer Sales and Rental Service. My clients needed official receipts and I to be official, you need to process this with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). After 3 months of running the business, I received a letter from the BIR stating that I have not been filing my taxes. And I need to appear at their office at a certain date and failure to do so, was some number of days imprisonment and a cash penalty.

I arrived at the BIR office with no one being accommodating, no one helping you, and everyone you ask, will point you to ask someone else. There was a general information table but there was seldom someone there. After doing nothing for about an hour, I finally saw someone on the information counter and started to ask about my taxes. The person was totally not accommodating, was not explaining things well. So basically I just ask what are the list of things I need to submit and I’ll just come back, and hoping I get to ask someone else I know who knows how to do all of this. My company ended up availing the services of an accounting firm. And even up to now, my company is still availing the services of an accounting firm.

In 2003, I taught various web related subjects, various computer graphic software usage and PC networking and troubleshooting. And Lheng who was of the accounting department, pretty much handled everything.

Now in the US, I was needed to file my Income Tax Return statements. There is a Federal and a State income tax. Federal is basically what everyone pays, and for the State is basically, the taxes you pay only in the state where you are. With my experience with taxes in the Philippines, it was always a pain filing anything tax related. So many fields to fill up on various forms. I was never able to do it alone. So at the back of my head, I had this feeling of dismay since I had to study how to file my taxes returns. And if I have some accounting firm do it, I was worried about the cost again.

Then here comes along the software H&R Block’s TaxCut. After opening the software for the first time, it just asked a bunch of questions. The questions had easy to find answers. Just answered everything, it was not a quick process, but it was easy.

From the answers you give, if fills up the required forms you need to submit. And once done, it prints out the official forms you will submit, fill up with the correct information and all you need to do is sign and mail. Now that is one major big difference on how I did things here and how I did it in the Philippines.