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Task Force Ready To Nab Tax Evaders

09 Jan 2017

Source: The Star Online dated 16 December 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Beginning next year, the country’s tax authorities will launch operations to search for tax evaders and improve tax compliance.

The task force, which will begin operations on Jan 1, comprises 272 intelligence officers and tax investigators, says Inland Revenue Board (IRB) chief executive officer Datuk Sabin Samitah.

The task force is aiming to collect some RM2bil next year.

He added the task force will focus on several industries listed as having tax compliance issues, including jewellery and pawnbroking companies, licensed money lenders, online and medical businesses and businesses with Approved Permits (AP) except companies which import vehicles into Malaysia.

The team will also investigate smuggling activities.

“Starting next year, a full tax audit will be conducted for all cases. It will no longer be a focussed audit.

“There are weaknesses to the focussed audit that we have carried out for several years when it comes to increasing tax compliance among taxpayers.

“We have agreed to conduct a full audit for all the cases that we need to audit,” he told reporters at the launching of the task force here yesterday.

Sabin added that the IRB was also discussing with Bank Negara to ensure that tax defaulters and those who delay their tax payments on purpose be listed in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS).

As of now, the IRB can only bar a tax defaulter from leaving the country.

“We don’t want to simply list the names of tax defaulters in the CCRIS because they will face problems in running their business.

Once someone’s name is listed in the CCRIS, they are unable to borrow from finance companies or banks.”

Asked whether the listing in CCRIS might be a harsh move, Sabin said the IRB would already have given the defaulter ample time to pay his tax returns by instalments.

Sabin said the IRB will also focus on audits on multinational companies some of which were found to have transferred their profits to other countries with lower tax regimes even though their profits were made in Malaysia.

Sabin cited a recent case where a group of companies owed RM40mil in tax and penalties using this method. The IRB gave the group four months to settle the amount.

Sabin also said the IRB had collected more than RM100bil in taxes this year and the Government’s target next year was RM127bil, which he said was achievable with the country’s economic size of more than RM1.2tril.

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