THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it will allow overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to register their tax identification numbers (TIN) online, with a senior legislator saying that such measures will help workers overseas to invest in their home country.

Representative Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda of Albay, who chairs the House Ways and Means committee, said he was looking forward for “OFWs who may be particularly interested in investing in Philippine stocks as a means for preparing for their return to the country and to secure the future of their families.”

The BIR requires taxpayer information to be verified in person in Revenue District Offices, denying OFWs who are not in the country the opportunity to open brokerage accounts. Obtaining a TIN also requires a personal appearance, he said in a letter to the BIR in December.

The BIR responded by committing to making the application process a “fully online experience.” It currently allows OFWs to apply for TINs through an authorized representative or via e-mail if the purpose is to contribute to the Personal Equity and Retirement Account, a policy which can be extended to cover the opening of brokerage accounts. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan