Govt looking seriously at general services tax; no decision yet

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 19 Aug 2009

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has yet to make a decision, or set a deadline, to replace the existing sales and services tax with a new regime.

“We are seriously looking at GST (goods and services tax) to replace the existing sales and services tax. However, we need to be sure that implementing the new tax system would not burden the people,’’ Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said yesterday after chairing the last series of discussion with target focus groups ahead of the upcoming Budget 2010.

Husni conceded that the GST would be a more “efficient” method for collecting tax revenue for the Government, but said that “more time is needed for detailed study’’ before the GST was implemented.

On Monday, the Malaysia Institute of Economic Research had urged the Government to seriously look into tax reform in the country and set a target to roll out the GST by 2012.

“We need lead time to prepare. We cannot just implement it overnight. We need at least two to three years’ preparation,’’ executive director Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mohammed Ariff Abdul Kareem said.

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