How to Get TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) for Unemployed Individuals

Nov 16, 2012 by at Taxation

How to Get TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) for Unemployed Individuals

A TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) is usually given to new taxpayers, such as individual taxpayers (i.e., single proprietors, professionals, employees, and mixed income earners) and juridical taxpayers (e.g., partnerships and corporations). If you fall under those categories, you can read our previous post on how to get a TIN from the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue).

But how about if you’re not an income earner or if you’re an unemployed person, can you still get a TIN?

A Taxpayer Identification Number is required in several government transactions, such as in getting a passport from the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and driver’s license from LTO (Land Transportation Office).

Furthermore, the TIN card is also considered a valid and an acceptable ID in the Philippines that can be used in financial transactions, like opening a bank account, sending and receiving money through a money transfer agent, and other transactions that need a valid identification.

So how can you get a TIN if you’re an unemployed person?

Aside from the taxpayers who are income earners, persons in need of TIN for E.O. 98 purposes are also eligible or qualified to acquire TIN from the BIR.

About E.O 98

Persons registering under E.O. 98 are those individuals who are securing TIN to be able to transact with government offices, such as LTO, NBI, DFA, and other government agencies and instrumentalities.

Executive Order 98, which was signed by the former president Joseph Estrada on April 1999, directs all government agencies, instrumentalities, Local Government Units, and Government-Owned Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) to include the TIN as part of the essential requirements in all applications for a government permit, license, clearance, official paper or document.

This order prompted the BIR to allow persons, who are required to provide TIN in their transactions with other government offices, to secure TIN from the bureau. This also caused the BIR to introduce and issue BIR Form No. 1904 or the Application Form for Registration of One Time Taxpayer and Persons Registering under EO 98 (securing a TIN to be able to transact with any government office).

Therefore, saying that only business owners, professionals, and employees are eligible to have TIN is not true.

If you will go to the BIR office to register and secure a TIN to be able to transact with the LTO, DFA, and other government offices, and the BIR officer will tell you that you are not eligible to secure a TIN because you’re unemployed… tell him or her about E.O. 68 and about the BIR Form 1904.

However, take note the E.O. 98 only pertains to transacting with the government offices. If you are securing a TIN beyond the purpose of E.O. 98, for example you just want a TIN without any valid purpose, the BIR may not allow you to secure a TIN.

Getting TIN under E.O.98

Now, if you are eligible under E.O. 98, here are the basic requirements, steps, and procedures to get TIN from the BIR:

1. Secure and fill out BIR Form 1904. Make a duplicate copy for your file – this should also be stamped received and signed by the BIR.

2. Attach copy of Birth Certificate or any document showing name, address, and birthdate of the applicant.

3. Accomplish and file the BIR Form, together with the attachments, to the RDO having jurisdiction over the place or residence of the applicant.

4. Ask when can you receive your TIN Card, and wait for its issuance.

Take note that the BIR will first check in their database if you have not been issued a previous and existing TIN before. So before you apply for a TIN, make sure that it’s your first time and you don’t have any previous TIN. Remember that possession of more than one Taxpayer Identification Number is criminally punishable pursuant to the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.

Other important reminders

If you already have a previous TIN, but your TIN card was lost, please read our post on how to replace lost or damaged TIN card.

Moreover, make sure that you are really an unemployed person or you don’t earn any taxable income from business or profession if you are applying for a TIN using BIR form 1904, otherwise, you are required to apply using another BIR Forms with additional requirements.

To learn more, you may visit and inquire the BIR office having the jurisdiction of your residence. You may also visit BIR’s e-Registration web page to read more and learn how to apply for TIN online.


Reference: Bureau of Internal Revenue, E.O. 98, BIR Form 1904

Disclaimer: The information published on this page is for general information only. New and subsequent laws and regulations may render the whole or part of the article incorrect or obsolete. This post doesn’t also constitute professional advice.

Victorino Abrugar is a retired CPA practitioner, a blogger, speaker, and an entrepreneur. He's the CEO of Optixor, Inc., a digital marketing company based in the Philippines. Follow him on Twitter at @viclogic.

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  1. tyrone

    Hi! This is a nice article.I’m really learning a lot from your blog. I hope you can help me with this. You see I’ve been out of the job for 6 years now and I have forgotten my TIN# already. Is there a way to verify it thru BIR’s website? And would I be eligible to convert my status to E.O. 98 since I’m not an income earner anymore? Any input would be appreciated.

  2. Mary

    Hello Sir Vic,
    I want to ask if its possible to convert my TIN (BIR Form 1904) to a Single Proprietorship kind of TIN or will I be given a new TIN if I will register for Single Proprietorship? I am confused….

    • Your TIN as an individual taxpayer, whether as an employee, self-employed or single proprietor, is one and the same. Only partnership, corporation or cooperative use different TIN – since these types of businesses have their own juridical identity apart from their owners.

      • heidi

        The BIR personnel kept on insisting that I must provide an endorsement to be able to get TIN. I don’t have have job. I’m just applying for Bank account and the bank requires a TIN no. The bank does not give endorsement to BIR for .TIN I told the BIR personnel about under EO 98.

  3. Ray

    Hello, I maybe in the wrong section but anyway I just want to ask, what if I am currently unemployed and I want to get a TIN ID for the purpose of employment abroad. I plan to leave the country soon to get a job. Would they give me a TIN ID even if I am unemployed?

  4. Shine

    I applied online for a tin as a professional.. But I realized that I do not have income as a professional since I am employed and no business. Can I cancel this tin? and not pay for 500 application fee? or can i use this for future employment. thank you.

    • Teeps

      Hi.. i wonder if you already have the answer to this? I also have the same issue and still dont know what to do.pls let me know. Email jobstephanie(@) a lot

  5. karen Evangelista

    I am 24 and unemployed,ive never been employed before, I want to apply for TIN for Philhealth and it is also a requirement for applying jobs.what will I apply in the BIR.,and if ever I will be hired what will I do.Im just confused,please answer. Thank you

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