Transferring large sums of money to the Philippines
Here's what you need to know about potential taxes on large money transfers to the Philippines.
If you’re planning to send money from Canada to the Philippines, you should know what laws and tax regulations are involved. Before moving any money, it’s important to learn about how large money transfers are regulated in Canada and what your recipient should expect.
How the Philippines regulates large remittances
The Philippines doesn’t require its citizens to pay taxes on personal money transfers from abroad, despite a 12% value-added tax (VAT) on remittances proposed by the Duterte administration in 2017.
The Philippine government has no legal jurisdiction over remittances sent from abroad. The government does have jurisdiction over domestic remittances, where the tax is charged to the remittance company rather than the sender. For you, this means fees could be higher, but it doesn’t require any extra paperwork from the sender.
Tax requirements for overseas Filipino workers when sending a remittance
The government classifies migrants who send money back home as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). In order for the government to recognize you as an OFW, you must register with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). OFWs are taxed in the country they’re working in but are exempt from paying income tax in the Philippines.
OFWs won’t have to pay income tax, but they may need the following documents to avoid other taxes such as the documentary stamps tax:
- Your Overseas Employment Certificate
- A valid membership certificate from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
- Your electronic receipt from the POLO
Do I have to report large transfers out of Canada?
You can send as much money as you need from Canada to the Philippines. In Canada, banks and money transfer specialists are required by law to report all transactions that exceed $10,000 or any they deem suspicious. You usually won’t need to do anything on top of this, but it’s a good idea to keep all your records of the transfer just in case.
How will my recipient receive my remittance in the Philippines?
Depending on the bank or transfer service you choose, you’ll find delivery methods that include bank-to-bank transfers, cash pickups and even home delivery in select areas.
If your friends or family are picking up your transfer in person, advise them to take along their ID and any transaction or confirmation number on your receipt. If they own the Philippine bank account you send your money to, they likely won’t need to provide anything to receive it.
As with all overseas money transfers, be wary of potential fraud and only send money to people you know. Using a reputable provider can safeguard you from potential scams.
Money transfer services with no maximum sending limit
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