Purchase beyond means will be probed, says IRB


Individuals have the right to purchase overseas assets or properties provided their source of income is accurately declared to the Inland Revenue Board.

P Ramani, FMT

The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will investigate an individual when properties or assets acquired are beyond their financial means, the IRB director of investigation, Mohd Nizom Sairi told FMT, today.

In a interview, Nizom referred to the controversial accusations made against the prime minister’s stepson, Riza Shariz Abdul Aziz and his purchase of a luxurious New York apartment for RM110 mil.

Mohd Nizom pointed out that the act of buying overseas property or assets is not deemed illegal, if the individual making the purchase has the means and declares their source of income to the respective Inland Revenue authorities.

“Don’t you think the US Inland Revenue Services will not investigate if the individual has not declared means of income?

“If the individual has rightfully declared and shows the financial capacity to own luxury properties, then the individual has every right to purchase any property or asset.

“Not only that, through strong provisions in the money laundering act, foreign and local banks also monitor remittance activities,” said Nizom.

Recently Sarawak Report, an internet news portal reported that Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz had purchased a luxury multi-million Ringgit condominium in Dec 2012.

However, news of the purchase only hit the headlines when the whistle-blower website began questioning the origins of Riza’s fortune.

Riza Shahriz is the son of the prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor from her previous marriage.

The condominium, said to be one of the most exclusive and expensive properties in the world, has 15 rooms within a 7,738 sq ft space and features fantastic views from its 1,244 sq  ft wrap-around balcony.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission ( MACC) was reported to have said that currently there are no laws in their portfolio allowing for them to investigate Malaysians who purchase and own assets valued beyond their income means, within Malaysia or overseas.

It was reported that MACC have proposed for a clause to cover this item be included in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 but Putrajaya has yet to table any amendments in Parliament.

Nizom added that only if IRB’s counterpart in USA contacts them, then through an information exchange clause provided in the Double Taxation Agreement, would both authorities proceed to conduct an investigation into the individual’s financial abilities.

Nizom stressed that burden of proof is on the prosecution to determine the ‘intention to evade tax’ stipulated under Section 114 of the Income Tax Act (ITA)1967.