Though travelling has been quite challenging in the past couple of years, no thanks to the coronavirus, many of us are raring if not dying to fly again very soon. And if you’ve spent some time living overseas, particularly in Canada, did you know that you have a benefit from the Philippine government as a Filipino citizen? This is known as the travel tax exemption.
Applying for this Travel Tax Exemption certificate is simple, and you can even save a couple of hundreds if not thousands of pesos. Awesome, right? More cash to get around and to treat your friends and relatives!
Before you get too excited and start planning your flight back to the Philippines, especially just in time for summer, there are certain things that you need to understand first about this benefit (which you must apply for, still).
But that’s okay! This guide will detail all the major things that you need to consider to have a successful application for your next travel to the Philippines! If you’re interested to know what these are, be sure to read until the end!
Guide to Applying for Travel Tax Exemption in Canada
The travel tax imposed on Filipinos who are leaving the country is computed based on the place where the ticket was issued and the form of payment that they submitted.
The proceeds from the travel tax shall be used for the development of educational programs and courses related to tourism. This amount is divided among the TIEZA, the CHED, and the NCCA.
Taxable individuals may be charged a full travel tax, a standard reduced travel tax, or the privileged reduced travel tax. And just to give you an idea, you may look into the following table:
TRAVEL TAX RATES FIRST CLASS PASSAGE ECONOMY CLASS PASSAGE
Full Travel Tax PHP 2,700 PHP 1,620
Standard Reduced Travel Tax PHP 1,350 PHP 810
Privileged Reduced Travel Tax* PHP 400 PHP 300
* For dependents of OFWs.
While these rates may not seem very significant, did you know that you can apply to be exempted from any of it altogether? Well, that’s definitely better than the alternative, right? And you’ve come to the right place to know all about applying for the Travel Exemption Certificate or TEC.
What is a Travel Exemption Certificate?
As you can guess from its name, a travel exemption certificate is a document issued by the Philippine government thru its relevant arms and foreign posts to grant tax exemption to all who qualify for this benefit.
Philippine citizens who fall under the following categories may be exempt from paying travel tax under Section 2 of Presidential Decree 1183, as amended:
- Overseas Filipino Workers
- Filipino permanent residents abroad whose stay in the Philippines is less than one year
- Infants (2 years and below)
There are several other categories, each with a specific set of requirements. But for posterity’s sake, we will focus on the three listed above.
There are only a couple of things that you need to secure when applying for a TEC. These are:
- Your current valid passport;
- Proof of Permanent Residence, e.g. residency permit issued by the Government of Canada; and
- Roundtrip airline ticket.
The processing fee for this document is PHP 200 (or the equivalent in CAD).
But before you proceed with your application, here are a few reminders to note:
- All TEC applications are processed within three working days after the submission of the required documentation.
- Your flight must be at least three days after the date of your online TEC application. Otherwise, your application will be processed ONSITE.
- Monday through Friday, all online TEC applications are processed and evaluated.
- All online TEC applications filed after 5 p.m. or on Saturdays and Sundays are assumed to have been submitted the next business day.
You can proceed with filing your TEC online by clicking this link.
Important: Tax exemption certificates for international travel can be secured from various offices in the Philippines:
- Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) Main Office located at DOT Building, Agrifina Circle, Rizal Park, Manila (with tel. nos. 521-7141; 523-5697; 523-2903)
- PTA Travel Tax Counter at the Departure Lobby of NAIA 1, 2, and 3 (apply before checking in)
- PTA Travel Tax Provincial Offices (please check the office nearest you on PTA’s website www.philtourism.gov.ph/ttax.html)
Video: Guide on Online TEC Application
In this video clipped shared by a Pinay vlogger, you will find information about travel tax in the Philippines, the requirements on how to apply for tax exemption, the amount you need to pay for travel tax and the individuals who may apply for travel tax exemption from the Philippines or from other parts of the world.
With this information on hand, you will be able to easily determine how much you need to pay if there is still a need for you to pay since travel tax exemptions can be availed by eligible travelers. With this in mind, be sure to check if you can apply for a tax waiver then do so by simply applying online at the website provided in this video.
- Where can I get a travel tax certificate?
Those who have bought their tickets must also apply for their RTT certificate ON-SITE at the airport counter or TIEZA Travel Tax Office.
- How can I get travel tax online?
- Visit tieza.gov.ph/traveltax.
- Choose whether you want to pay the First Class or Economy/Business Class travel tax.
- Create a one-time account with your email address and passport number.
- Enter your Ticket Number, Mobile Number, Departure Date, and Destination Country.
- What is the process of acquiring a travel tax exemption certificate?
The easiest way to secure a travel tax exemption certificate in the Philippines is by visiting one of the following locations: the Philippine Tourism Authority’s main office, or the TIEZA’s counter at the airport.
- Is OFW exempted from travel tax?
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and those who are working or studying outside the Philippines for less than a year are also exempted from paying the travel tax.
- How much is the travel tax?
The full travel tax of PHP 1,620 is charged for economy class tickets and P2,700 for first class air travel. It’s computed regardless of the form of payment that’s used.
- How do I secure my travel tax payment certificate?
- Secure and complete the application form.
- Submit the completed form along with any supporting papers.
- Wait for the Order of Payment Slip to arrive (OPS).
- Pay the appropriate fees.
- Submit the completed application form together with the needed documents and authentic Official Receipts.
- Can travel tax be refunded?
If you paid for travel tax but have been exempted or got downgraded, you can claim a refund within two years from the date of your payment.
- How do I get a travel exemption in the Philippines?
Individuals seeking entry into the Philippines should first secure the approval of their local government agency before applying for the visa. This can be done through the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs.
- Who is exempt from travel tax?
For temporary visitors and Filipino balikbayan (either expatriates working in other countries or former Filipinos who are now citizens of other countries), the obligation to pay travel tax is waived.
- How much is the travel tax for OFW dependents from the Philippines?
For business travelers, the full travel tax is PHP1,620.00, while the standard rate is PHP300. For persons with Privileged Reduced Travel Tax for dependents, such as overseas Filipino workers, the reduced travel tax is PHP300.
Now that travel is slowly going back to normal, it’s important that every Filipino overseas understands the rules that apply when it comes to travel tax, especially when their travel date/s back to the Philippines is nearing. The process in applying for a travel tax exemption is quite straightforward. So, there’s basically no need for long explanations about this. You just have to prepare the requirements, go online, and file your application as instructed.
After that, you just had to wait a couple of days and you may present your tax exemption certificate at the airport upon arrival at the Philippines and your payment for the travel tax will be waived by the government. It’s as simple as that.
So, are you planning to travel overseas anytime soon? Or are you planning to come back to the Philippines now that travel restrictions are slowly easing up? If so, make sure that you understand the process on how to apply for a travel tax exemption certificate, as this can be done online and it won’t take you over an hour to file an application. With this in mind, make sure to keep a copy of this guide and be ready to share it with anyone who plans to travel anytime soon, whether to the Philippines or other countries – the savings might be a welcome surprise for them!
TIEZA CENTRAL OFFICE
Address: 6th & 7th Floors, Tower 1 Double Dragon Plaza, Double Dragon Meridian Park, Macapagal Avenue corner EDSA Extension, 1302, Bay Area, Pasay City
Telephone Number: 8249-5900 to 79
Google Map Location: