Customs to collect extra RM3bil from errant firms

JOHOR BARU: The Customs Department, which has collected about RM37bil in Goods and Services Tax (GST) so far this year, is expecting an extra RM3bil next year from businesses that flout the regulations.

Deputy director-general (enforcement and compliance) Datuk T. Subromaniam said tax officers had visited about 20,000 out of the 430,000 GST-registered businesses as of September.

The department, he said, would visit 200,000 business premises nationwide next year and expect another RM3bil in tax to be collected.

Speaking to reporters yesterday at the launch of Customs Blue Ocean Strategy (CBOS), Subromaniam said that investigation papers had been initiated against some 4,000 errant companies since GST was implemented in April last year.

About 400 companies have been brought to court.

Some of the offences, such as failure to submit account statements or declare GST collection, were committed by businesses such as sundry shops, restaurants, construction contractors, hardware shops and entertainment outlets.

“There are cases where businesses would charge customers GST but failed to forward the tax to the Government. There were also those who made a false declaration so that they could pay a lower tax amount,” said Subromaniam.

“It is not our intention to bring businesses to court. So, my advice to them is to adhere to the law and do what is right.”

Those found guilty, he said, could face a penalty of up to 40% of the unpaid tax amount.

Following the CBOS launch yesterday, 10 teams of enforcement officers visited three business premises each to conduct spot checks on accounts and GST registration details.

A 24-hour eatery in Taman Adda Heights was found to have made a false declaration about its monthly income, putting it at RM2,000 but the department estimated the earnings to be RM6,000 a month

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Customs adopting 'friendly' approach for businesses' GST compliance

JOHOR BARU: The Customs Department is changing its strategy and using a "friendlier" approach to get businesses to comply with the goods and services tax (GST) regulations.

Deputy director-general (enforcement and compliance) Datuk T. Subromaniam said the new approach was being used in operations conducted under the Customs Blue Ocean Strategy (CBOS) where enforcement officers visit premises to explain and listen to the problems faced by business owners in obeying the regulations.

He said this was needed because there were some businesses that had failed to declare their GST collections to the Government.

He said there were those who declared their statements but did not pay the necessary amount to the Government as well.

Subromaniam said previously the Department took an enforced compliance approach but switched to an informed compliance approach to better reach out to the people.

"The operations started in September and we have visited about 20,000 GST registered businesses where an additional RM1bil was collected," he said before launching the nationwide CBOS at the Johor Customs building here on Wednesday.

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Najib: GST exemption for prepaid card reloads to be maintained next year

PEKAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak(pic)has announced that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) exemption on prepaid card reloads will be maintained for next year.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the measure was taken to ease the burden of the people as many mobile phone users, especially the youth, depended on prepaid telecommunications services.

He announced this during a media conference after a visit to Pekan GiatMara Centre in Bandar Peramu here on Saturday.

The Government under the GST improvement measures at the end of last year had excluded GST charges on prepaid added value phone cards, effective Jan 1 until Dec 31 this year.

On another matter, Najib denied that his busy schedule on Saturday had to do with the 14th  general election.

"No... no... I return to Pekan today for the purpose of discharging my duty as the Member of Parliament, to review the effectiveness of government policies and programmes and whether they reach the target groups.

"I can see today the programmes implemented by the Government really can change the living conditions of the people in Pekan and also throughout the country such as projects to build houses to address urban poverty, for instance," said Najib, who has served as Pekan MP since 1976.

Malaysia to share GST experience, anti-terror module with India, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is more than ready to share its experience with India on the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and anti-terrorism measures, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today. He said information on GST was shared with a high-level delegation from India that visited Malaysia recently. "In connection with the Indian government's plans to roll out GST in 2017, we are happy to share our experience of GST introduction with them", he said in his address as the chief guest at The Economic Times' Asian Business Leaders Conclave here today. Despite facing different challenges in terms of GST, Najib said both countries shared a mutual resolve to provide a transparent and predictable tax regime, as well as protection of intellectual property rights. "We have both gained from sharing our observations and expertise in these areas," he said. On terrorism threat, Najib said Malaysia is also willing to share its Integrated Deradicalisation Module for Terrorist with other countries, including India. "I myself have long experience of working with the Indian government, both in my past capacity as defence minister and as prime minister, to bolster our fight against the common threats we face," he said. He said tactical measures on the security front are important in maintaining and building trust and confidence, turning the strategic partnership into reality to protect the people in both nations. Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also delivered his address via teleconference, sharing his effort to transform India into a digital economy and turning the country into a favourite investment destination. He also told the participants that India would implement the GST next year. Both leaders had also shared their experiences in transforming their countries through a teleconferencing, which was the first ever held between them.

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GST, rising prices take centre stage

RISING prices and complaints about the Goods and Services Tax (GST) did not escape the attention of the Umno General Assembly.

Kedah delegate Datuk Abdullah Hasnan Kamaruddin called for the setting up of a dedicated GST Board to collect and manage the tax.

He said a dedicated GST Board can, among other things, better explain to Malaysians the issues related to the tax.

“Some RM20bil in GST was collected but we do not know if the bulk of it comes from businesses or from the pockets of the people.