Lesson 9 - Money, Legal & Other Matters
Our lesson for today is about money matters, legal concerns & other important VA work related off-line matters, and below you will find "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) about it:
- What are my options when accepting payment for my VA services?
Answer: Most online companies based abroad prefer to pay via PayPal.com while those based in the Philippines prefer to pay via local banks (ex. PNB, BPI, BDO, and others). So it is advisable for you to have...
1.) An existing PayPal Account (preferably verified), and
2.) At least one (1) local bank account (preferably BPI, as they do not collect charges for inter-branch deposits, they have a user-friendly online banking system, and now some of their machines can process “cardless” ATM withdrawals, how great is that!).
- How can I withdraw my money from oDesk.com?
Answer: If you’re based in the Philippines, you have two options > if you want to receive your money faster...
1.) You can withdraw using your verified PayPal account (processed within only 2 hours), and
2.) You can enroll your local bank account and oDesk will directly transfer your oDesk earnings to your enrolled bank account. This is a new option called LFT or "Local Fund Transfer" where you can receive your funds within 2 to 3 days Read more about it HERE.
- How can I withdraw my money from PayPal.com?
Answer: You have to verify your PayPal Account first before you can withdraw or spend your PayPal money. (Receiving is different, you can receive money even your PayPal account is unverified).
*You can verify your PayPal account with the use of your credit card information OR by applying for a Debit Card at any Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP) Branch. Required minimum amount to withdraw is $10.00 and it takes 5 to 7 days to receive your funds in your UBP account.
A detailed guide about PayPal and UBP can be read HERE.
- Do you have to declare your VA income in your Income Tax Return (ITR)?
Answer: Yes, you have to declare it when filing your ITR AND if your *total yearly income (i.e. regular job, freelancing work and/or business) exceeded P60,000.00) then you must pay the corresponding tax dues for it.
If your income is P60,000 and below, you are exempted from paying your income tax, though you still have to file your ITR for documentation purposes.
Note: It's important for us to file our ITRs, not only because it's our social obligation, it's also our ticket to avail housing loans, credit cards and other financial services that we may need someday.
- I’m planning to do VA work full-time, do I have to register with BIR?
Answer: YES, if you don’t have a Tax Identification Number or TIN yet. And NO if you already have one. You can use your existing TIN when filing your ITR. (Read more related info HERE.)
Note: There are many advantages for having a TIN and TIN ID. You can use it for valid identification purposes when you apply for a driver’s license, when opening bank accounts, and others.
- Do I need to be a member of the Social Security System or SSS?
Answer: Definitely YES! Growing old is a certainty that we cannot escape (unless we die early :0) and whether you like it or not there will come a time that your income will stop. So to help you in your senior years, be sure to apply for an SSS membership so you will be entitled to retirement, disability, and death benefits.
- Aside from SSS membership what else can I do to secure myself & my family from financial income threats?
Answer: Get yourself a life insurance! You can inquire with a licensed insurance agent or financial advisor about Variable Life Plans. This type of plan is advisable for VAs that are also breadwinners as this plan will give you an investment account packaged with life insurance, disability, accident, and health protection coverage from certain critical illnesses (stroke, cancer, etc).
Contrary to popular Filipino beliefs, you get life insurance when you don’t need it. This is financial common sense - as no insurance company will accept you when you’re already old and with health issues. Also, insurance costs are lower for younger people (30’s and below). The older you get, the more expensive it becomes.
Note: If you’re residing in Metro Manila or nearby areas, you are welcome to attend a free financial awareness briefing (by appointment schedule) to know more about financial options, investment strategies, insurance plans, and others. This knowledge is helpful for business owners, breadwinners, and other income earners. We have a couple of OJP volunteers that are experts in this field, just send a request email to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’re interested.
Okay, that's our lesson for today and only 1 lesson left.
Stay focused, productive, and inspired!
Have a nice day!