Documentary Stamp Tax, commonly known as DST, is a tax in the Philippines regularly applied to the execution of transaction documents.
Common transactions where DST will apply include the issuance or sale of stocks, execution of loan or debt agreements, or the sale and transfer of properties.
Depending on the value of a transaction, the amount of DST payable can be quite significant. The applicability and payment of DST will therefore have implications for accounting, bookkeeping and tax compliance for businesses in the Philippines.
So, if you are an owner, founder or manager and intend to enter into a transaction in the Philippines or with a Philippine company, make sure you understand the potential DST obligations and liabilities that can arise.
To help, we’ve outlined below what corporations in the Philippines should know about Documentary Stamp Tax or DST.
What is Documentary Stamp Tax?
Documentary Stamp Tax or DST is a tax applied in the Philippines on the execution of documents such as deeds, instruments, loan agreements and other forms of transaction documents. Usually, such transaction documents will be the evidence of an acceptance, an assignment, a sale or transfer of a right or a property or a sale or transfer of an obligation.
DST is not a unique tax to the Philippines. It is a common tax applied on transaction documents by various countries worldwide.
Speaking of tax in the Philippines, it might help to check out one of our recent articles to understand why tax for corporations in the Philippines is so complex.
When is DST applicable?
DST is applicable upon the execution of a wide range of transaction documents. The original source for the applicability of DST to transaction documents was specified under Title VII of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, otherwise known as the Tax Code of the Philippines. The provisions under Title VII have since been amended by government issuances, including, in particular, TRAIN law.
Here is a helpful paper issued by a branch of the Government’s Department of Finance, The National Tax Research Centre in March 2018, which outlines the changes made to DST and DST rates under TRAIN law.
A DST liability will arise when a transaction leads to an obligation or right from Philippine sources, or where a property, involved in a transaction, is situated in the Philippines.
Some of the transaction documents that corporations will commonly deal with and which will be subject to DST include original issue of shares of stock, sales, agreement to sell, memoranda of sales, deliveries or transfer of shares or certificates of stocks and debt instruments. For a full list of documents on which DST should be applied, you can check out the BIR’s Tax Rate table HERE.
DST Rates in the Philippines
DST rates are not the same across all transaction documents. The amount of DST payable will vary depending on two primary elements:
- The type of transaction and document being used to effect the transaction; and
- The value of the transaction evidenced within the document on which DST must be paid.
For example, an original issue of shares of stock is subject to DST to the value of P2.00 for every P200. While a deed of sale on the sale of real property is subject to a tax of P15.00 for every P1,000. Our example (see below) illustrates the computation of DST on an original issue of shares of stock.
As such, the higher the value of a transaction, the higher the amount of DST that will be payable.
The BIR has issued a Tax Rate table which outlines the various types of documents that are subject to DST as well as the DST rates applicable to each different category of document or instrument. This Tax Rate table also identifies the relevant Tax Code Sections, the taxable unit of value and the tax due per unit. You can view the BIR’s Tax Rate Table HERE.
The Application of DST – An Example
Let’s say, for example, an Investor wishes to invest in a domestic company registered here in the Philippines. The Investor will do so by purchasing stocks in the capital of the Philippine company. For the purposes of this example, the Investor will be purchasing the shares as an original issuance from the Philippine entity, not from an existing shareholder. The DST application will differ depending on whether a stock purchase is an original issuance from the company or a sale or transfer of already issued stocks (i.e. from an existing stockholder).
The Investor wishes to purchase 100,000 shares of stock in the Philippine entity at their par value of P100 per share. The computation for the original issuance of stock in a company is computed on the basis of P2.00 for every P200, or otherwise, 1% of the value.
So, in this example, the DST payable on the original issuance of 100,000 shares of stock at par value of Php100 per share, is Php100,000.00, computed as follows:
Php10,000,000 (100,000 shares x Php100 par value) / Php200 x Php2.00 = Php 100,000.00.
So, that’s how DST is calculated for one category of transaction document.
Now, here’s how to file and pay DST with the BIR.
Who must file and pay the DST?
Any party involved in a transaction could be liable to pay the DST. While it is generally the company that receives the greater benefit (usually the consideration) that will file and pay the DST, this is not always the case. So, it is therefore crucial, before proceeding with signing transaction documentation, to understand and agree which party will be responsible for paying and filing the DST.
It is important to note, that if one party is exempt from paying DST, the other party who is not exempt will be solely liable for the DST payment.
Finally, if the transaction involves a foreign entity (for example, an international investor), they will have to obtain a Tax Identification Number or TIN for the purposes of the transaction. This ensures that the details of the transaction and the DST filing can be filed and recorded correctly with the BIR.
How to File and Pay DST in the Philippines
There are two BIR forms that can be used when filing DST.
BIR FORM 2000
BIR Form 2000 is also known as the Documentary Stamp Tax Declaration Return. According to the BIR, it should be filed by the person making, signing, issuing, accepting, or transferring documents, instruments, loan agreements and papers, acceptances, assignments, sales and conveyances of the obligation, right or property wherever the document is made, signed, issued, accepted or transferred and the obligation or right arises from Philippine sources or the property is situated in the Philippines at the time of the transaction.
Certain taxpayers are required or may opt to use the web-based Electronic Documentary Stamp Tax System of the BIR, or the eDST. This system enables a secured stamp to be imprinted on the taxable document through a web-based system, evidencing that DST has been paid. Revenue Regulations No.7-2009 are the basis for the eDST system.
Tax filers can also use the BIR’s eFPS system, the online electronic tax filing system in the Philippines, for filing DST.
Here are the Guidelines for filing DST using BIR Form 2000, as well as the penalties for failure to pay!
BIR FORM 2000-OT
BIR Form 2000-OT is the Documentary Stamp Tax Declaration Return for One-Time Transactions.
Again, taxpayers can file and pay DST manually, or use the eDST and eFPS systems in the Philippines.
What are the timelines for filing DST?
The filing date with the BIR for the DST return is within five days from the close of the month when the DST applicable document was made, signed, issued, accepted or transferred.
Accounting for Documentary Stamp Tax
Documentary Stamp Tax is treated as an expense in the books of the taxpayer. Here’s an example to better understand the concept of DST as an expense for a company.
JKL Company sold a real property for consideration amounting to P5,800,000. The deed of sale in this transaction is a taxable document. JKL should file and pay documentary stamp tax amounting to P87,000.
|Taxable Unit||Tax Due P/Unit||Tax Due|
|Excess of the first P1,000||₱5,799,000||P5,799,000 ÷ P1,000||₱5,799.00||₱15.00||₱86,985.00|
Upon filing and payment of the DST, JKL Company would record the transaction in its books as:
|Documentary Stamp Tax||₱87,000 (DR)|
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