Companies Should Seek Legal Advice On GST Refunds

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 – Companies which are unable to collect their Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department should seek legal advice, said Lee Hishamuddin Allen & Gledhill (LHAG) Partner, S. Saravana Kumar.

He said companies can consult legal advisors if they do not get a positive response from relevant authorities on their refunds. Saravana said this to reporters after the LHAG Tax, Sales and Services Tax (SST) Customs seminar here today when asked to comment on news reports that RM18 billion in GST input tax credit had gone missing since 2015.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng alleged that since the implementation of the GST on April 1, 2015, the GST input tax credit to businesses was supposed to have amounted to RM19.4 billion as of May 31, 2018, but only RM1.5 billion remained in the trust fund.

Under the GST, businesses were allowed to claim tax refunds on purchases two weeks after submission of proper documents. Meanwhile, Setiawangsa Member of Parliament Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said that the GST may be reintroduced in the future when incomes increase.

“More than half of Malaysians currently earn less than RM1,700 per month. The GST tax net is bigger and is thus a burden for the people,” he said, adding the GST was a good tax system, but unfortunately did not suit the current situation where the average income was relatively low.

Once the new SST takes effect on Sept 1, the government must ensure that the prices really go down, he said. “We have received feedback that the zero-rated GST did not bring down prices of goods so much due to monopoly, therefore, the implementation of the SST should be under close watch to ensure prices do not skyrocket,” he said. — Bernama

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