KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 – The tax refund for the input tax of outstanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not likely to be carried out as the money paid in advance was not included in the government’s trust account under the previous administration, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said the money paid in advance was instead put into the consolidated fund account and made to look like as if they were from the Barisan Nasional government.
“The money was used by the previous government, and that is the reason (why the GST input tax claims cannot be refunded),” he said when winding up debate on the Sales Tax Bill (Bill) 2018, in the Dewan Rakyat today. Lim said the payment was to have been paid within two weeks, but was delayed by two years.
“This is serious thievery, when the money which is supposed to be in a trust account does not exist in the account, how is the current government going to pay (to input taxpayers)?”, he said.
Responding to Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) who wanted Lim to prove his claim, the Finance Minister said he would present details on the matter when tabling the Goods and Services Tax (Repeal) Bill 2018.
Lim added that in contrast to the GST which is a multi-tier tax, the Sales and Service Tax (SST) that will replace the GST is a single-tier tax.
“This tax being a single-tier tax does not require input tax. That is why we need a one-tier tax system that I feel is easier and clear, so the problem of unpaid claims will not arise,” he said.
He also pointed out that replacing GST with the SST was mainly to ease the burden of the people. The SST will also see a total of 5,445 tax-exempt goods compared to 545 items for the GST. The Bill was later approved by the house although there were attempts by the opposition to refer ito a select committee.
Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (BN-Beluran) had moved a motion on this after the winding-up of the debate session, but it was not agreed upon by the majority of the MPs, after which he asked for a block vote. The block voting 111 MPs voting against the motion, 51 for and four abstaining. — Bernama