Customs, IRB to conduct joint audit on firms

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will jointly undertake an audit on all companies in the country, in an effort to effectively plug leakages in the system, which have resulted in the government being shortchanged in revenue collection.

Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said the audit would be conducted by officers from the Customs and the IRB, beginning with companies in the Klang Valley, before expanding the operations nationwide.

He said the joint programme would increase the effectiveness of the audit process by allowing the departments to share information, including those on companies which under-declared their corporate income and avoided the payment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“Under the audit programme’s standard operating procedure (SOP), each officer will be equipped with an authority card which will only allow them to conduct audit work and not collect any payment,” Mohd Irwan told reporters after witnessing the signing of the SOP between the Customs and the IRB to facilitate the programme in Putrajaya last Wednesday.

He said a joint audit main committee and a joint audit operations committee have been established to ensure the programme’s effectiveness.

“Both committees will work together to select cases for audit and determine its scope, procedure and coordination of the teams involved,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the arrest of the mastermind behind fraudulent GST claims worth almost RM25.58 million, Customs DG Datuk T Subromaniam believed there are many others who are committing similar crimes.

“In this case, it involved many people who registered a company that did not con- duct any business activity, but submitted claims of input tax credit.

“The companies registered for GST in April 2015, but our system terminated the refunds after suspecting that something was amiss.

“When the mastermind got wind that the police were going to arrest him, he quickly fled overseas for several months,” he said.

Subromaniam added that the culprit was arrested when he attempted to conduct banking transactions upon his return.

He, however, could not ascertain the actual amount refunded to companies as a result of such fraudulent claims.

Subromaniam was convinced there were many other companies that were involved in similar fraud activities and that the Customs was investigating the companies to determine if they were directly involved or were deceived by the mastermind. — Bernama