Direct tax hike based on YA 2018


The increase in direct tax collection last year by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) was based on the economic growth recorded in the year of assessment (YA) 2018, said Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng.

He was commenting on claims made by several quarters that the encouraging tax collection was actually based on 2017’s economic performance and neither reflect the current state of the economy nor it was the outcome of effective tax-related strategies set by the Pakatan Harapan government that came into power after the election.

“In fact, it is reflective of a resilient economy, coupled with the effectiveness of a clean leadership and an administration based on the principles of competency, accountability and transparency.

“It was also supported by a 34% hike in collection from the Sales and Services Tax (SST), which was introduced in 2018,” Lim said, adding that the ministry would continue to issue statements on the economy, based on facts and accurate figures.

On Sunday, the minister announced that the IRB achieved a new record in direct tax collection last year, with RM137.04 billion collected, which was 11.13% more than the RM123.3 billion collected in 2017.

He also said the tax paid, for instance, by a company in the 2018 would be made based on estimated income for the year.

Real property gains tax and stamp duty collection, however, would not be associated with the previous YA. “This is because the tax or duty on the disposal of an asset is imposed in the year of disposal.

“Similarly, for stamp duty on instrument or agreements, duty will be imposed in the year the instrument or agreement is executed or signed,” he explained.

As for the SST collection for 2018, Lim said proceeds rose 34% to RM5.4 billion versus the target of RM4 billion set when SST was implemented on Sept 1, 2018.