KUALA LUMPUR: Only 10% of some 7,000 companies which have registered for the coming goods and services tax (GST) scheme, have applied for the RM1,000 subsidy to upgrade their accounting software to be GST-compliant, says the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
"Many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are eligible for the RM1,000 e-voucher are not aware of such a benefit," said GST director Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy.
He urged more companies to take advantage of the subsidy and make the application online.
In a move to help businesses ease into the GST implmentation on April 1, 2015, the government is offering eligible SMEs a RM1,000 e-voucher to purchase related software from vendors certified by customs.
"The department has to date certified 113 vendors, and the number will increase over time," Subromaniam told reporters after attending a GST session organised by the Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs to brief 14 local Indian organisations on the new tax regime.
The prices of the software, depending on business needs, range from RM800 to ten of thousands of ringgit.
As at yesterday, only 7,000 companies had registered for GST, he said.
It is estimated that around 300,000 businesses in Malaysia, which have an annual turnover of RM500,000, have to take part in the new tax regime.
Up to 90% of those companies were SMEs, Subromaniam said.
He said the department would not give an extension of time for companies and businesses to register once the deadline expired on Dec 31, 2014. Companies failing to register for GST by then can be fined up to RM30,000 or two years' jail or both, or be compounded up to RM15,000.
Businesses needed at least three months to familiarise themselves with the new tax regime, hence the registration deadline by year-end, said the Customs Department. – Bernama