Steps in transferring land titles in the Philippines

by Ms. Jamila  April 14, 2014

Ms. Jamila is a graduate of BS Psychology from San Beda College Manila, and affiliated with Guthrie Jensen Consultants Inc., John Robert Powers and Speech Power. She was a Dean's Lister in college, and a passer of the 2014 Real Estate Broker's Exam. As the Human Resource Officer of PRIME Corporation, her tasks include hiring qualified employees, promulgating company policies and addressing work-related issues.

God is the owner. "If God is God, then humans can actually never own anything." 1 From the beginning of time we adhere to the concept of Stewardship doctrine, which states that we are just mere stewards of our nature and of the world. The term stewardship comes from the word “oikonomas”, where “oikos” means house and “nomos” means law. It is our birth right to live in this world with sufficient means for subsistence and mother nature which will provide us with our needs but with the implied obligation to take care of it like a good father of the family. This right does not give us the corollary right to exploit and destruct it. As a steward it is our obligation to preserve it, to utilize it properly for the needs of the next generation. We only have limited resources which when added or not renewed cannot really cope with our unending desires.

From this stewardship concept comes land ownership. Since time immemorial, possession of vast amount of land is a manifestation of influence, power and wealth. People normally purchase land for investment, occupancy or for speculation. While purchasing land is quite exciting and in fact some neophyte real estate buyers assume that when they acquire a property, the title will instantly be assigned under their name. If you think it that way, then I tell you that transferring a property title is much more difficult, tedious and time consuming. There are many things to consider such as payment of taxes (transfer tax, capital gains tax/creditable withholding tax, registration fees, business tax, if applicable, etc.) and it is best to determine beforehand and incorporate in the contract as to who shoulders said taxes in order to avoid hassle. Also expect delays in transacting with government agencies keeping in mind that patience is a virtue.

The one who is in-charge (normally the buyer) with the transfer might encounter fixers who would offer their service to speed up the transfer process in return of something valuable either in cash or in kind. Maybe we think that it is better to hire their service to save time, money and effort and the worst is many people consent to this kind of arrangement. If you look at it there is the advantage of a quicker transfer, not having to fall in line and wait longer compared to those who perform the transaction religiously and patiently on their own. But what about those who cannot afford the so-called “royalty fee”? Government officials paid to render public service without having to receive extra pay. Do they withstand the term “honorable” attached to their names? We are at the mercy of the officer-in-charge to do their task or there's an implied understanding that says, “give me a good offer first then I do the service for you”.

The point is though many people consent to this, it does not make the act morally permissible. We are feeding them in an illegal and unethical way, and an illegal or immoral act does not ripen to a good act through continues and long time practice. Though long time delays are really irritable, but if it is really the process then we must follow it. Try to fill in the shoes of those who patiently wait without resorting to illegal ways.

If the government cannot make solutions to this perennial problem, then it is every persons responsibility to solve this by checking first our values. If we will not stand up now, this problem will not cease to exist and we will be left on a trap wherein those in the position use their power to abuse others.

In order to avoid this, have a technical know-how of the process and follow the steps written below:

After the notarization of the Deed of Absolute Sale (DOAS), here are the steps that you need to follow to get a Transfer Certificate of Title:

1. Go to the municipal/city assessor’s office which has jurisdiction over the subject property, then request for a certified true copy of the latest Tax Declaration of the property.

2. Go to the assigned Revenue District Office (RDO) of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Fill out the BIR Form 1706 (CGT) and BIR Form 2000 for Documentary Stamp Tax (in triplicate copies). Submit the required documents detailed in number 3 (below) which serves as basis for computation of amount of taxes. BIR will return the documents submitted before payment of Capital Gains Tax and Documentary Stamp Tax at the Authorized Agent Bank (AAB). Prior the payment to the AAB, you will be required to fill out a separate AAB payment form, present it to the AAB representative and then pay the amount due in cash.

3. Submit the following documents to BIR representative (including the original copies of the AAB payment forms)

  • • Original plus two (2) photocopies of the notarized deed of sale
  • • Owner's duplicate copy of the transfer certificate of title (TCT) or the Condominum Certificate of Title (CCT), whichever applies, plus two (2) photocopies
  • • Certified true copies of the latest tax declaration for land and improvement of the property plus two (2) photocopies. If property sold is a vacant lot or has no improvement, a Sworn Declaration of No Improvement by at least one of the transferees or Certificate of No Improvement issued by the city or municipal assessor
  • • Tax Identification Numbers of the Seller and Buyer

Other requirements, (if applicable):

  • • Special Power of Attorney if the person signing on the document is not the owner as appearing on the TCT/ CCT
  • • Certification of the Philippine Consulate, (if the document is executed abroad)
  • • Location plan/vicinity map if the zonal value cannot readily be determined from the documents submitted
  • • Such other requirements as may be required by law/rulings/regulations/other issuances.

4. Upon submission, BIR representative will give you claim slip which you will use to claim the Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) on the date provided. It is one of the requirements for the RD for the title registration and issuance of a new Owner’s Duplicate Original Copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title or the Condominium Certificate of Title. (Under BIR Revenue Memorandum Order No.15-03, the CAR will be issued by the BIR Revenue District Offices or local agents for all One Time Transaction (ONETT) within a period of 5 days from date of receipt of complete documentary requirements).

5. The CAR will be released to you together with the following:

  • • Original copy of the Deed of Absolute Sale stamped received by the BIR
  • • Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title or the Condominium Certificate of Title
  • • Original Copies of the BIR Form 1706 (CGT) and Form 2000 (DST) stamped received by the BIR
  • • Copies of the Tax Declaration for land and improvement

6. Proceed to the local treasurer's office for the payment of transfer fee and secure a copy of tax clearance upon payment of a certain fee for its issuance upon presentation of the following:

  • • Original and 1 photocopy of the Deed of Absolute Sale
  • • Photocopy of Tax Declaration
  • • Official Receipt of Payment of Real Property Tax and Special Education Fund Tax for the current year.

7. Submit Documents to the Register of Deeds. Present the following documents to the RD which are required for the issuance of the new Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title or Condominium Certificate of Title in your name:

  • • Original plus 3 photocopies of the Deed of Absolute Sale stamped received by the BIR
  • • Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title (CCT)
  • • Original Copy of the Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR)
  • • Original Copy of the Realty Tax Clearance
  • • Original Copies of Official Receipts of Payments of Capital Gains Tax, Documentary Stamp Tax, Tax Clearance Certificate and Transfer Fee
  • • Original Copies of the Current Tax Declaration for land and improvement issued by the local assessor’s office

If the seller or buyer is a corporation, the following requirements must also be submitted:

  • • Secretary’s Certificate authorizing the sale of the real property
  • • Certified True Copy of the Articles of Incorporation and By Laws of the seller or buyer corporation

8. Payment of Registration Fee. Upon payment of the required registration fee and submission of the required documents, the Register of Deeds will issue a new Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title or Condominium Certificate of Title which in no case shall exceed 5 days from submission of the complete documents and payment of registration fee.

9. Tax Declaration. Once you secure Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title or Condominium Certificate of Title, proceed to the local assessor’s office to request for the issuance of the Tax Declaration in your name. The following documents are required for the issuance of the Tax Declaration on your land and improvement:

  • Photocopy of the Deed of Absolute Sale
  • Photocopy of the Transfer Certificate of Title or the Condominium Certificate of Title
  • Photocopy of the CAR
  • Photocopy of the Transfer Tax Receipt
  • Photocopy of the latest Tax Receipt or Tax Clearance

In other local assessor’s office such as in Makati City, the following are also required:

  • Subdivision Plan if lot is subdivided
  • Colored Photos of house, lot or condominium unit

That’s all for now. Hope you’ve learned valuable insights. For any questions or concerns, we would be glad to hear from you. You may reach us through our mobile number (+63)917-555-8-222, or direct line (02)442-6362, or email us at inquiry@primephilippines.com.

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