Tax amnesty programme to reduce people’s burden

By BERNAMA / Pic By TMR

The Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) is a clear indication of the government’s desire to reduce the burden of the people through taxation, Inland Revenue Board (IRB) CEO Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah (picture) said.

The programme, announced by the government last November, offers an avenue for taxpayers to come forward and voluntarily declare any unreported income or over-claimed expenses for Malaysian tax purposes.

“It is the desire of the government to encourage and instil a culture of voluntary tax compliance, and this offer to start on a clean slate on tax matters is the right move towards achieving that,” he said in his speech during a KPMG dialogue session with the IRB in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Under the SVDP, for disclosures of unreported income made from Nov 3, 2018, to March 31, 2019, the penalty will be 10% of the tax payable.

If the disclosure is made from April 1 to June 30 this year, the penalty will be 15% of the tax payable. After the programme ends on June 30, penalty rates of 80% to the maximum of 300% will be imposed on tax defaulters.

The reduced penalty rates during the SVDP period offers motivation for the people to start afresh with regard to their tax matters, Sabin said.

Through the programme, the board aims to reach at least one million taxpayers, with an estimated RM10 billion collection.

“I am aware there are uncertainties surrounding the implementation of the SVDP, which includes trust issues on the part of the taxpayers. I would like to highlight a very important point regarding this.

“The fundamentals of the Malaysian tax system are based on trust. That is the spirit behind any self-assessment regulated tax system,” he said, adding that the IRB has been meeting its side of the deal and now the SVDP represents an opportunity for taxpayers to trust the board.

He assured that any voluntary declarations made by taxpayers during this eight-month period would be accepted by the IRB in good faith.

“We will not question you on the nitty-gritty and will assess your tax matters as declared. No questions asked, no reasoning required.

“I also assure you, your declaration and any information provided will be duly treated as confidential, as stipulated under the Income Tax Act 1967. It will not be shared or made known to a third party,” he added. — Bernama