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

the source : www.thestar.com.my