Computing real property taxes in the Philippines

If you’ve owned real estate for some years now, chances are you already know what you need to pay government on a yearly basis.

Those still thinking of acquiring a house and lot or commercial and industrial land, be warned that aside from the one-time tax due on the sale, mortgage, or exchange of real property, there is also the regular yearly taxation–basic and special education fund–that you need to settle religiously.

The first of these yearly levies on properties is called the basic real estate tax. The other is the special education fund tax.

How does government determine how much basic tax owners should pay for their properties?

Central to this determination is what is called the fair market value (FMV) of a property.

FMV, defined, is the highest price a property can command if put up for sale in an open market, allowing a reasonable time to find a buyer for it, with both seller and buyer acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming there is no undue stimulus affecting its value.

For purposes of taxation, the determination of the fair market value and the pegging of the assessment levels for land and improvements like houses or buildings are conducted by municipal assessors for municipalities within Metro Manila and the provincial assessors for municipalities outside the metropolis. Cities have their own government assessors.

The FMW and the assessment level are important in determining the assessed value of real estate.

Government pegs the yearly basic real estate and special education fund (SEF) taxes on the assessed value of land and the improvement thereon.

Current assessment levels for land are: 20 percent for residential, 50 percent for commercial, industrial, and mineral, 40 percent for agricultural, 20 percent for timber, and 15 percent for scientific, cultural, and hospital.

Improvements like houses or buildings are assessed separately and have assessment levels different from land.

Let’s say for example that we want to compute the assessed value of a residential land whose fair market value is pegged at 2 million pesos by the municipal assessor.

The formula for getting the assessed value of this property is: fair market value x assessment level = assessed value. Hence, 2 million x 20 percent = 400,000 pesos.

Since we already have the assessed value for this property, we can now compute the basic real estate tax.

To do this, we multiply the assessed value by the rate of basic real estate tax, which is pegged at not more than 1 percent for the provinces and not more than 2 percent for cities and Metro Manila municipalities.

The basic real estate tax for residential land with an assessed value of 400,000 pesos is computed this way: assessed value x tax rate = amount of tax.

Let us say that this land is located in a town in Cebu, where the tax rate is 1 percent, then the amount of tax for a residential land with an assessed value of 400,000 is 4,000 pesos.

If, on the other hand, this land is located in Cebu City or in a Metro Manila municipality, where the tax rate is pegged at 1.5 percent (remember that the tax rate for these areas must not exceed 2 percent), then the tax amount can be arrived at by multiplying the assessed value of 400,00 with the tax rate of 1.5 percent. The tax amount therefore, in this case, is 6,000 pesos.

The assessed value is still used in computing the special education fund tax, which is a uniform rate of 1 percent. To get the tax amount, multiply the assessed value by the tax rate of 1 percent. So, 400,000 (assessed value) x 1 percent (special education fund tax rate) = 4,000 pesos (tax amount).

The following tax computations are only for land with fair market value of 2 million pesos. If there is an improvement on the land, like a house or a building, the assessed value is computed separately. This is because there are different assessment levels for improvements.

Add the tax dues for land and the improvement to get the total tax amount.

Basic real estate and special education fund taxes are paid in four installments, due on or before March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31 of the current year. Advance payments are entitled to not more than 20 percent discount while delinquent payments are subject to interest of 2 percent per month.

Computing the tax due on the sale or purchase, exchange, mortgage, or donation of real property will be discussed in another post.

Things to remember

* Real estate appraisal for purposes of taxation is based on current and fair market value and uniform within each political subdivision

* Assessment levels of real estate are based on actual use and are also uniform within each political subdivision

* Appraisal and assessment of a property for purposes of taxation are not left to private parties

* Assessed value is arrived at by multiplying fair market value with assessment level

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  • jaguar

    dapat number of computation ndi ung descussion tungkol sa pag compute….

    dapat pakita ung solustion…… nahihirapan kami sa pag research…

  • Mikki

    Please tell me where can I find informations about the ownership and mother titles of specific area of land here in Cebu, specifically in Lapu-Lapu city

    Thank you very much.
    Hope that somebody can answer me.

  • Ms. Mags

    May I know the real estate tax rate for the residential building at Catigbian,Bohol the assesses value is only P191,000 but we were billed a P19,000 yearly tax. Is that fair.


  • leno eballe


    If I am a real estate property buyer and the realty tax is not included in the price of the house & lot. Shall I be the one to pay tax from the time I started to pay my instalment or only at the time when I completely paid in full the property? For example 5 years installament plan. Do I have to pay the 5 years realty tax or only on the year where I fully paid or during the year when the property transferred to my name?

    Please enligthen me about this matter.


  • http:[email protected] Bonie Sevilleno, Sr.

    Feb. 18,2010
    I have bought three (200 sq.m/lot) in a subdivision here in Bacolod City and had fully paid the two lots in the year 2000 but did not received any titles or pertinent papers for the property until present year 2010. I am confused, can you help me.

  • flores elena

    Good Day! may i know the tax payment for a commecial building..
    assessed value – 700,000.00
    Please do reply on my email add..
    Thank you so much…

  • marichu lapada

    gud day sir/madam!
    meron po akong nabili na lot and bldg. ang problema ko ang tax para sa bldg. kung magkano talaga ang dapat mabayaran ko sa tax sa bldg. na concrete na nabayaran ko at 60,000.00. pwede ko bang malaman kung magkano talaga ang dapat kong mabayaran? pwede malaman kung papaano ito i compute, at humingi ng formula? commercial bldg. po ito at nasa city of naga. salamat po

  • Carl John Perez

    alin po ba ang babayaran? ung tax amount o assessed value?? tnx!

  • nino

    binigyan po kaming mag asawa ng Lot ng nanay niya, kaso kami lang daw po mag babayad ng taxes since inheretance lang po yun. Ang nagyari po eh lalabas na benenta ng nanay nya yung lupa sa P20,000 with 175 sq. m.paano ko po ma determine kung magkano yung babayaran naming taxes? ang sabi naman po ng nagaayos ng papers eh market value daw po yung basehan pag appraise ng municipal assessor so parang lumaki na po yung babayaran namin.

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  • nora

    omg!!! Taxes, taxes, taxes!!!
    But where do the taxes collected from hard earned income goes??? Juandelacruz is too much suffering from paying all these taxes, while “others’ are just pocketing this. OMG!!! OMG again!!!

  • tommy

    May i know if the government will send the tax bill to my property? or i have to
    go somewhere to pay for taxes? Is it any penalty if you pay late? and how much is the penalty?

  • Felix Gomez

    @leno eballe I think it is when you start paying your installment. IMO

  • Guest

    Thank you! This really was useful. It’s my first time to pay tax and i absolutely have no idea how much to pay. God bless

  • The American

    Are you married to a foreigner?

  • Nylecie Illana Lightning

    Good Day,

    Thank you very much for this website. We are living in Siquijor Island. We bought a land and build a house. On our Tax Declaration given by the Municipality of Larena, the ASSESSED VALUE of the Residential Building is 300,00 with 30% Assessment Level.

    Im so confused how the teasury made the computaion of our annual tax due. They conputed it as follows:

    3000 —– 750 (75) = 675
    2,250 (337.50) =1,912.50
    2,587.50×2 = 5,175 Annual tax for the house only

    Hope to hear from you. Thanks a lot

  • Totits

    Hi, is it possible to merge 2 or more small lots with separate tax dec into just 1 tax declaration?

  • ICEvictim

    you should have a formal closing with an attorney where the seller shows proof of a clear title and all taxes paid or the money placed into your hand to pay it and a title search showing no liens.

    Otherwise you are responsible for all of it once you take the title.

  • Oliver MC

    Pag ba ang dipress area pinagbabayad ng amilliar ibig po ba sabihin nun mgkakaron na ng titulo un lupang tinitirhan ko? Sana may sumagot salamat po.