Welcome to our comprehensive guide on real estate taxes in the Philippines. As a property owner or a potential investor, it’s crucial to fully grasp the ins and outs of real estate property tax. While often overlooked, this tax significantly affects the overall cost of owning property and can influence your decisions on purchasing and investing in real estate.

In this guide, we will explore the concept of real estate taxes, diving into its intricacies and shedding light on why it’s an essential aspect of property ownership. We will help you navigate this complex topic, breaking down the legalities and computations involved. We aim to empower you with the knowledge you need to effectively understand and manage your real estate tax responsibilities.

Whether you’re a seasoned property owner or just starting your real estate journey, this guide will provide valuable insights to enhance your understanding and ability to handle real estate property tax confidently. So, let’s begin our journey into real estate taxes.

What Are Real Estate Taxes?

Real estate taxes, or property taxes, are compulsory charges that property owners pay to local governments. These taxes are primarily used to fund public services such as schools, libraries, parks and public safety measures like police and fire departments. The amount of tax each homeowner pays is typically based on the assessed value of their property and the tax rate set by the local government.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Real Estate Taxes?

Neglecting to pay real estate taxes can have serious consequences. If you stay caught up on your property taxes, the local government may place a lien on your property. This lien allows the government to claim your property if you neglect payment. The government can sell the lien to collect the owed taxes if the debt remains unpaid. If the lien is sold, the purchaser can foreclose on your property to recover their investment.

What Is Real Estate Excise Tax?

The real estate excise tax is a tax charged on the sale of real estate. This tax is typically levied on the total sales price of the property. It is usually the responsibility of the seller to pay this tax, but the buyer and seller can agree to split the cost or have the buyer assume it entirely. The rate of the real estate excise tax can vary based on the location of the property and the laws of that specific jurisdiction.

Is Real Estate Excise Tax Deductible?

Real estate excise tax, often charged during the sale of a property, generally isn’t considered deductible on your personal income tax returns. This category includes a wide range of levies, such as fuel taxes or specific taxes imposed by local or state governments when selling your home. However, it’s important to note that some jurisdictions may inaccurately label excise taxes as personal property taxes. In such instances, these taxes might be deductible.

In your monthly house payment, several costs contribute to the total amount, including insurance premiums, principal mortgage repayments, interest charges, and local and state real estate taxes. When filing your tax return, it’s crucial to note that the only expenses eligible for deduction are the actual state and local real estate taxes paid to the taxing authority and the interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest. These specific expenses are itemized and deducted from your taxable income, potentially reducing the income tax you owe.

Given the complexities of tax law and the variations between different jurisdictions, consulting with a tax professional is always recommended to ensure you accurately apply tax laws to your personal situation. The information they provide will be up-to-date and tailored to your circumstances, ensuring you get the most accurate advice possible.

Understanding Real Estate Property Tax

When we talk about real estate property tax, we’re referring to an annual financial obligation imposed by your local government unit on all real properties. These properties may include land, buildings, improvements to these structures, and even machinery.

The real estate property tax system, established under sections 197 to 283 of the Local Government Code, grants local government units and municipal governments the power to levy a tax on all real estate properties within their jurisdiction. Each property is appraised and taxed based on its fair market value, with the rate subject to certain limitations and ceilings as per local regulations.

This tax plays an integral role in the functioning of our local government units, serving as a primary source of funding to help provide essential public services to the communities they oversee. This is why the payment of real estate taxes is of utmost importance for all property owners.

Neglecting your real estate tax obligations could lead to severe consequences, including the possibility of the government’s auctioning your property. Hence, it’s imperative for you, as a property owner or potential investor, to comprehend the magnitude of real estate taxes and your responsibilities associated with them. In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into how to fulfill these obligations correctly and punctually.

The Process of Paying Real Estate Property Tax

Understanding the process of paying real estate property tax begins with knowing where to make your payment. In most cases, property owners are required to pay their real estate taxes at the treasurer’s office of the municipality where the property is located. This is the main hub where all transactions related to property tax payments are handled.

Regarding the frequency of payments, real estate property taxes in the Philippines should ideally be paid annually. However, depending on your financial convenience, you can pay in installments throughout the year. It’s crucial to remember that meeting these payment deadlines is essential to avoid potential penalties for late payment.

When making a payment, there are certain documents you must bring with you. Typically, these would include a copy of the latest tax declaration and official receipts of previous payments. If you’re a first-time payer, you must obtain a copy of the past year’s tax declaration and official receipts from your real estate developer or previous property owner.

What happens if you fail to pay your real estate property tax on time? Timely payment of your real estate taxes is a legal requirement. Non-payment or delay in payment can result in the imposition of penalties, which could eventually escalate to the government taking more severe actions, such as auctioning off your property. Therefore, ensuring timely payment of your real estate property tax is paramount.

In the following sections, we’ll explore in greater detail how to compute your real estate property tax, making it easier for you to understand your financial obligations as a property owner.

How to Compute Real Estate Tax

Crunching numbers and making calculations may seem daunting, but it’s critical to understand your real estate property tax. While the computation may vary slightly depending on your location, let’s break down the process into manageable steps.

First, you must identify the real property tax (RPT) rate applicable to your property. The rates vary based on whether the property is located within or outside Metro Manila, with a 1% rate for provinces and a 2% rate for cities and municipalities within Metro Manila.

Next, calculate the assessed value of your property. This value is a measure of your property’s taxable value, calculated by multiplying the market value of your property by the assessment level, which differs based on the property type, usage, and location. Depending on the property’s classification, typical assessment levels range from 10% to 50%.

With the assessed value and RPT rate, you can compute your real estate property tax using the following formula: Real Estate Tax = RPT Rate x Assessed Value of the Property. For instance, if your property’s total assessed value is Php 1,200,000.00 and you’re in Metro Manila, your real property tax would be Php 1,200,000.00 x 2% = Php 24,000.00.

However, the computation continues beyond there. There’s an additional 1% levy on the assessed value of your property for the Special Education Fund. This fund goes towards the budget for local schools. You need to add this additional tax to the calculated real estate tax to find the total amount due for the year.

Understanding and computing your real estate property tax may seem complex, but ensuring you’re meeting your obligations as a property owner is crucial. The following section guides you through the optimal times to pay your real estate tax.

Paying Real Estate Property Tax for Mortgaged Properties

Owning a property under a mortgage doesn’t exempt you from the obligation of paying real estate property taxes. The responsibility for this payment rests squarely on your shoulders, irrespective of whether you’ve paid off your mortgage or are still making repayments. It’s an essential aspect of property ownership you must navigate as you walk towards owning your home outright.

One common query many property owners have is how to pay their real estate property taxes when their property is still under a mortgage. The mortgage lender doesn’t usually handle these tax payments in such cases. Instead, they require you, as the property owner, to submit proof of your updated real estate property tax payments annually.

When you pay at your local municipality’s treasurer’s office, retain a copy of your updated real estate property tax receipts. You should submit this to your bank, as it assures them you’re up-to-date with your tax obligations. Suppose you’re residing outside of the Philippines. In that case, you can appoint an Attorney-in-fact or a close relative to manage these payments and necessary coordination with the bank on your behalf.

The bank’s requirement for annual submission of your real estate property tax receipts emphasizes the importance of paying your taxes, even for mortgaged properties. In the event of any default on mortgage payments, the bank’s interest in the property remains protected, as the property won’t be at risk of being auctioned off by the government due to unpaid taxes.

In the upcoming sections, we’ll examine the consequences of late or non-payment of real estate property taxes and the importance of updating your property tax. Understanding these elements is crucial in maintaining your property and avoiding legal complications.

Paying Real Estate Property Tax While Abroad

In our increasingly interconnected world, owning property in one country while residing in another has become common. As an overseas property owner, you may wonder how to fulfill your tax obligations for your property in the Philippines. It may seem challenging, but there are ways to navigate this process effectively.

You are still obliged to pay your real estate property taxes despite being miles away. Your geographical location doesn’t exempt you from these responsibilities. Non-payment can lead to complications, including penalties and even the local government’s potential auctioning of your property.

The good news is there are convenient ways to manage these obligations even while living abroad. The primary method is to appoint an Attorney-in-fact or a trusted immediate relative who can handle the tax payments on your behalf. This person will be responsible for ensuring that your property taxes are paid timely and accurately, and they will coordinate with your bank as necessary.

When assigning this responsibility, ensure the selected individual is reliable and understands the tax payment process. They should also be able to submit the necessary documentation to the assessor’s office to compute your property tax.

Another method may be through online payment options if available. More and more municipalities are digitizing their services, including tax payments. Check with your local government’s treasury office to see if they offer online real estate tax payment services. This method provides convenience, allowing you to fulfill your obligations anywhere in the world.

Whether through a designated representative or online, ensuring your real estate property taxes are paid promptly and accurately is critical. In the following sections, we’ll delve into the penalties for late-payments and the importance of updating your real estate property taxes.

Role of Property Developers in Paying Real Estate Property Tax

As you venture into real estate, understanding the role of property developers in paying real estate property taxes can save you a lot of time and potential confusion. Whether you’re purchasing a newly constructed property or a property still under the developer’s name, it’s essential to get clarity on who is responsible for the property tax payments.

Typically, the responsibility of paying real estate property tax lies with the property owner – you. However, there are instances where the property you’ve just purchased might still be under the developer’s name. The lines concerning who must shoulder the property tax can blur in such scenarios.

Establishing clear agreements with your property developer regarding paying real estate property taxes is crucial. These agreements outline when the responsibility for tax payments shifts from the developer to you. The transfer of responsibility often occurs once the property is officially under your name.

Until then, the developer is usually responsible for paying the real estate property tax. Once you gain full ownership, the responsibility for paying the tax shifts to you. This process often involves obtaining a copy of the tax declaration, real estate property tax receipt, or clearance from the developer for the previous year.

Even when your property is under construction, the local government will assess a tax on the lot. Once construction completes, an improvement tax kicks in. Regardless of the development stage of your property, it’s crucial to maintain a clear line of communication with your developer regarding the status of real estate property tax payments.

In the following sections, we will further explore the consequences of late payment and the benefits of keeping your real estate property taxes updated. Stay tuned to understand the importance of timely and accurate real estate property tax payments.


Navigating the complexities of real estate property taxes can initially seem overwhelming. However, the process becomes more manageable with a clear understanding of the fundamentals. Being well-informed about your tax obligations is crucial to avoid legal complications and enjoying peaceful property ownership.

Throughout this guide, we have strived to shed light on the fundamental aspects of real estate property tax in the Philippines, from understanding what it is to its computation and payment. We’ve covered how to pay your taxes, even if your property is under the mortgage or while living abroad. We’ve also delved into property developers’ role in paying taxes during the property development stage.

However, while this guide provides a solid foundation, real estate property tax nuances can vary based on location, property type, and individual circumstances. Always consult with tax professionals or legal advisors to ensure you meet your tax obligations accurately.

Paying real estate property tax is an essential part of property ownership. It contributes to community development and ensures the provision of essential public services. By keeping your taxes updated, you avoid unnecessary penalties and contribute to building a stronger community.

As you continue on your property ownership journey, remember these tax principles. They will assist you in ensuring you remain compliant with your obligations while enabling you to enjoy the benefits of your investment to the fullest. We wish you the best of luck in your real estate endeavors.