Getting a Personal Loan for the Holidays

Personal Loan

Image courtesy of Infinit Accounting


December has come, and we all know what that means—the holidays are really upon us. With all the festivities happening this season, also comes a lot of gift shopping not just for our loved ones, but for ourselves as well.

Besides that, there are a lot of other things to spend on during the holidays such as food, parties, and vacations. So, it’s important to keep your money in check, since it’s easy to fall short during this hectic period of the year.

For this reason, you may take advantage of holiday loans offered by financial institutions (i.e. banks and credit unions), so that you won’t have to worry about your finances. A holiday or personal loan in the Philippines can be used for all your Christmas-related expenses, and it carries a low-interest rate, unlike short-term loans.

To walk you through the concept of acquiring personal loans for the holidays, we’ve provided relevant information that you should know to get the most out of this season.

Types of Holiday Loans
There are two options when it comes to holiday loans, namely personal loan and personal line of credit.

A personal loan typically has a fixed interest rate and payments, so that it is made in equal amounts over a specified period. It doesn’t also require any form of collateral such as your home or car.

On the other hand, a personal credit line involves tapping into funds only when deemed necessary. After the funds have been repaid, more funds can be borrowed again without having to re-apply for a new loan.

Interest is paid only on the amount of money loaned, which is very convenient, as it is a bit flexible and you’ll only have to borrow when necessary. The downside to this, however, is that it may lead to overspending.

Holiday Tips
To alleviate the problem of excessive spending during the holidays, and so as to not be buried in loan payments, it’s best to set a budget for holiday spending.

We all know how easy it is to get caught up on buying things during this time, since we like to reward ourselves for getting through the year and, well, because it’s Christmas. But, setting a budget is a wise move in ensuring that you don’t get too much into it and go overboard on your spending.

Another thing to note regarding holiday loans is to avoid borrowing more than you can repay. While these loans are convenient for the meantime, it’s important not to forget that payments have to be made sooner, rather than later. So, always keep this in mind.

Also, make sure you’ll be able to say no to impulse purchases if you can. If it is still within your allowable holiday budget, then go ahead. Then again, if you’re already on the ropes on your loan, then it’s best to say no for now because you can always buy that item later on.

The holidays are probably one of the happiest times of the year, and it’s the period when we like to give gifts to our family and friends. Also, a lot of people take this opportunity to travel.

Personal loans are a great option if you’re in need of extra cash to buy those gifts, especially when you’re feeling extra generous or going on that year-end trip that you’ve been planning for a while now.

While there are no issues with doing these, just make sure to use your loan wisely so that you can enjoy the holidays without worrying about post-holiday debts.

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12 Tax Filing Facts Every Business Should Know for January 2016

January 2016 will roll out in less than a month and we all know what that means—it’s time to map out your goals and business strategies! This, of course, will likely begin with taking care of a crucial aspect of your business: renewing your business permits and license. With the deadline set on or before January 20, 2016, the renewal of business permit must be done ahead of time should you wish to avoid the hassle of falling in line with other tax payers. Not only will you get penalties if you fail to renew, your business will also be prohibited from operating in your local government unit.

Don’t risk paying surcharges. Here are tax facts to emphasize how inherently important tax filing is in every business transaction:

1. Take note that application for SSS, PAG-IBIG and PhilHealth clearances is necessary if your business has 5 or more employees.

2. It is a must for freelancers to register and renew their business permits since they are considered sole proprietors. Freelancers like small business owners must file an Income Tax Return (ITR) declaring mixed income. To kick off the process, a freelancer must first declare that he or she is a Mixed Income Earner (MIE), which is how to tell the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that he or she has several sources of income aside from the compensation obtained from an employer as salaried worker.

3. Requirements and procedures are different for each local government unit (LGU). The steps you are required to accomplish when renewing a business permit in Makati City may be different from the steps in Quezon City. It is thus a must to research and educate yourself with the steps in the LGU your business will operate in prior to renewing your permit.

4. A business has to register and renew its head office and other branches. If you still haven’t started operating yet, you are still required to pay an annual registration fee of P500—regardless of being a head office or a branch. Failing to pay the annual registration fee has a corresponding penalty of P5,000 to P20,000.

5. Every business in the Philippines is required to pay a community tax certificate or cedula including businesses owned by non-Philippine residents. The community tax will be paid in the business owner’s place of residence or the jurisdiction of the business.

6. It doesn’t matter when during the previous year you registered your business. For instance, paying in December 2015 means you’re still required to renew your business permit on or before January 20, 2016.

7. It is unfortunate that government transactions in the Philippines are slow and inconvenient. Apart from preparing your requirements ahead of time, it is best to clear out your schedule for the day to accomplish renewing your business permit.

8. See to it that your business permit is up-to-date and current. Make sure to keep track of the administration work which is mainly duties related to paying taxes. Ensure that receipts are issued properly because without receipts, you can’t support claims on your income which can lead to issues during filing.

9. Entrepreneurs cannot offset their taxable income with their business loss. This is due to the fact that business tax must be differentiated from income taxes. Business taxes are composed of a percentage of tax on sales, receipts, and Value Added Tax (VAT) while income tax is derived from your annual income as an employee or your personal income.

10. It is important for business owners to itemize all income sources and include all the income received from different sources when filing taxes. Every single detail must be included and accounted for as much as possible.

11. Take note if you’re qualified for exemptions which means your total taxable income can be reduced. When filling out Form 1701, you need to include all of the gross income you received from various sources. You must note down the income you received from your business/freelancing work, as well as income from compensation as an employee. The total income can be qualified for exemptions, which are composed of Personal Exemptions and Business Expenses. Your taxable income will be the basis of your income tax. This is to avoid double taxation in your case when your employer has already paid and filed taxes on your behalf as a salaried employee.

12. Make sure to attach all requirements to the ITR. These may include a summary of taxes, duties, and licenses. For instance, BIR Form 2316 (Certificate of Compensation Payment or Income Tax Withheld) must be attached to the Annual Income Tax Return or BIR Form 1701, which is used for individuals with mixed income. Form 2316 is accomplished and issued yearly by the employer and given to employees whose income is subjected to final tax declaration. The form must indicate the total amount that was paid to the employee, as well as the corresponding taxes withheld during the calendar year.

Keeping track and filing your taxes can be a tedious, time-consuming task but it is your basic obligation as a citizen. Of course, you can opt to hire an accountant to help you properly fill out your paperwork and make sure you get the task done flawlessly. You can also opt to outsource these administrative tasks and have experts handle business related concerns like the renewal of business permits. This way, you can focus on being an excellent employee in your day job while making a great business for your freelance work as well.

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Moving Forward: The Philippine Real Estate Market Game

The emerging real estate industry is the forerunner in Philippines’ movement towards urban revolution. And in support to its urbanization efforts are the country’s firm economic background, the compelling demand for business process outsourcing (BPO) services, an increased rate in consumer spending, and the thriving spate of remittances from the overseas Filipino workers.

As these developments continue to steer the economy with impressive results, this lead most economic experts to believe that 2015 is the perfect time for property investors in the Philippines. Some of the big leaders in the market today such as Vista Land, Megaworld, Ayala Land, and Century Properties are among the long-time honchos who’ve committed their investments in the country.

As these companies managed to grow for the past years, they proved that the property market encourages metropolitan development in the country.

Increased Demand

According to Century Properties’ Managing Director, Robbie Antonio, the demand for new homes is strong.

2011 was the year where the real estate market truly escalated in the Philippines, as the economy inflated a 7% raise, which was the highest compared to the past years. This also included a 7% increase of remittances inflow from over 10 million overseas Filipinos.

In Antonio’s experience, the biggest risk and obstacle in the industry is overspending and being too ambitious when the market is not as hot contrary to what one may think.

Gearing up for the Years Ahead

The market can change in a heartbeat. Some may presume that with the recent successes of the real estate market in the Philippines, it will soon be enclosed in a real estate bubble—a known distressful game changer when it comes to the local or global real estate market turf, as it occurs periodically, particularly following a land upturn.

In preparation for this economic turn, most analysts believe that the Philippines’ resilient economy can burst this bubble, as the government focuses its efforts on fixing critical aspects such as updating public infrastructure, political stability, inflation control, and maintaining low interests.

Urban developments have also implemented plans of relocation outside the capital city. Most of these investments can be seen on the nether part of Manila such as Cebu, Iloilo, and Tagaytay. These cities are believed to be where the next wave of suburban and economic growth will transpire.

Aside from these relocations, the Philippines also has its own share of tourism and hospitality treasures that were recently discovered and immediately appealed to a number of investors. For instance, PAGCOR’s Entertainment City in Parañaque, the City of Dreams, Bloomberry Corp.’s Solaire Resorts & Casino, and the Okada Group’s Manila Bay Resorts, which will be launched in the coming years.

According to PAGCOR, these entertainment properties were anticipated to attain $7 billion of gaming revenue by 2019. With a lot of these varying properties in store, more foreigners have become interested in buying these investments to set up different businesses such as manufacturing and automotive.

The country is favored by some foreign buyers to do business in for the strong macroeconomic indicators, competitive working resources, and a stable climate. The Philippines is also a welcoming place for foreigners to study, work, play, and live to their accord.

Without a doubt, the multiple foreign investments and the government’s efforts had played a huge role in the country’s urbanization. But looking at the larger picture, the private sector was the first to lead the endeavors in the advancement of constant urban revolution.

Lots of overseas Filipino workers and BPOs have bought properties to become their office and residence. These properties have provided the groundwork for most Filipinos to adapt to a new paradigm shift, a new lifestyle, and standards for living.

For these people, settling for less is not an option. Ensuring that their hard-earned money will go only to the best property investments is their best foot forward, especially in this year of 2015 where the Philippines is proven to be a huge refuge for property trades and investments.

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