Amir Hamzah: Govt to prioritise improving current tax system

The Sun, 4 March 2024

Filepix: BERNAMApix

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will prioritise improving the current tax system before assessing the need to reintroduce new tax such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan (pix).

“I think the GST is the tax structure that we always continue to look at, and it will take some time before we review everything.

“But at this time, our focus is actually (using) the tools that we have such as the SST (sales and service tax) and so on,” he told reporters at the launch of Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd (SJPP) and Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan Bhd’s (SJKP) guarantee schemes here, today.

On the increase of the service tax rate and the implementation of the high-value goods tax, Amir Hamzah said the government would improve its communication with stakeholders before introducing new tax measures to avoid recurring confusion.

“When you look at it, the service tax rate which increased from 6.0 per cent to 8.0 per cent was introduced and announced in Budget 2024, and actually, there was a lot of consultation done with various groups to ensure that we figured out what are the key things.

“At the same time, as anything that goes out, sometimes communications could be a little bit better, and we recognise that we should do a little bit more on that side,” he said.

He said the revision of the service tax rate is good for increasing government revenue and redistributing the proceeds raised to help society.

Amir Hamzah also agreed with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living to step up its enforcement to curb unaffected businesses from exploiting the higher tax rate by raising prices.

“I think many Malaysians can also play their part to highlight where they feel that prices have been raised (but) not consistent with the increase in the service tax,” he said.

As announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during the Budget 2024 presentation in October last year, the service tax rate will be increased to eight per cent from six per cent in March 2024, while the high-value goods tax rate will be imposed between five per cent and 10 per cent, starting May. -Bernama


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