Malaysia urged to seek ways in preserving a fair tax system
Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah

BY LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By TMR

The country needs to put more effort to enhance tax governance and compliance and weed out offenders who use weaknesses in the system to escape from paying their taxes.

Inland Revenue Board (IRB) CEO Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah (picture) said the main focus of compliance should be to make it easy and non-compliance difficult.

“It is our intention to pre-serve a tax system that is fair and equitable to law-abiding and responsible taxpayers. At the same time, we must ensure that appropriate and necessary actions are taken against those who willfully evade and avoid paying taxes,” he said at the launch of the Malaysian Tax Conference 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The conference is organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and Malaysian Association of Tax Accountants.

He said the IRB is strongly against unethical methods employed by individuals or companies who take advantage of loopholes or ambiguities in the law to avoid their tax obligations.

Malaysia joined five other countries this year to sign the multilateral instrument to curb the abuse and misuse of tax treaties, bringing the total number of signatories to 78.

“IRB will continue with the drive to counter the threat of aggressive tax planning, base erosion and profit shifting, and tax evasion practices that cause tax leakages.

“Curbing tax leakages through these methods will require enhanced cooperation between the various local agencies, especially for information sharing on a timely basis,” he said.

Malaysia is also part of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information.

MIA president Salihin Abang said the conference is important in terms of capacity building and compliance.

“Better compliance will help the IRB collect the right amount of tax to enable the delivery of public goods and services, and support national development. This is in line with MIA’s point of view, that it is a duty of every eligible Malaysian taxpayer to pay the right amount of tax for the purpose of nation-building,” he said.

The conference themed “Embracing the Challenges of Tomorrow” discusses emerging new technologies, digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution.