Despite warnings, Customs chief insists GST rollout will be smooth


(MMO) – “Why should there be confusion? We have conducted briefings for them so why have they not attended?” 

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has insisted that no complication would arise from the April rollout of the new Goods and Services Tax System (GST), dismissing warnings that major administrative problems could spark confusion or lead to wrongful profiteering among businesses.

Instead, department Director-General Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad expressed confidence that the ongoing media blitz to educate businesses on the GST would suffice to help operations ― even small-scale businesses like sundry shops ― to administer the new system.

“There will be no confusion… we have been on a campaign to educate these businesses about GST so they can’t just simply add charge people more,” he told Malay Mail Online.

A tax expert had warned two days ago that the GST’s flat six per cent rate has likely discouraged small businesses from registering for the consumption tax, which could lead to low understanding of the new system and push them to add an additional six per cent charge on items.

Dr Veerinderjeet Singh, chairman of tax advisory firm Taxand Malaysia, had warned of possible complications arising from the new tax because Malaysia has a far longer list of exemptions and zero-rated goods compared to countries like Singapore and Australia.

Due to the various exemptions and zero-rated goods, traders would find it difficult to set the final price of their product.

“Many are not going to do a detailed analysis. They’ll just sell at the same price and add six per cent,” said the tax expert.

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