PETALING JAYA: The Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) is expected to collect RM10bil from at least one million taxpayers who may have misreported their tax filings or did not declare their income to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
According to IRB chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah, the SVDP provides a golden opportunity for taxpayers to come forward voluntarily, as the disclosures made would be taken in good faith by the government agency.
“The SVDP aims to attract at least one million taxpayers with an estimated RM10bil in tax collection,” Sabin said in his keynote address at a seminar on the tax amnesty programme organised by Deloitte Malaysia yesterday.
Encouraging taxpayers to sign up for the SVDP, Sabin noted access to various sources of information on taxpayers and the use of big data would enable the IRB to track delinquent taxpayers.
“As the saying goes ‘you can run but you cannot hide’ and hence, taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of the SVDP, a one-off initiative offered by the government,” he said.
The SVDP is a tax amnesty programme announced in November during the tabling of Budget 2019. The scheme, which commenced from Nov 3, 2018 until June 30, 2019, will offer taxpayers reduced penalty rates for misreporting their tax filings or failure to declare their income to the IRB.
If disclosure of unreported income is made from Nov 3, 2018 until March 31, 2019, the penalty would be 10% of the tax payable.
If disclosure is made from April 1 to June 30, 2019, the penalty would be 15% of the tax payable.
After the programme expires on June 30, 2019, the penalty rates would range from 80% to the maximum of 300% as provided for under the existing tax laws.
Deloitte Malaysia said it would expect more sign-ups for the SVDP in the coming months before the scheme expires at end-June to avoid stiff penalties.
Deloitte Malaysia country tax leader Sim Kwang Gek said the introduction of the SVDP was timely.
Stressing the importance of providing complete disclosure in financial reporting and tax filing, she said: “Practising transparency is an organisation’s biggest asset.
It helps with management and organisational credibility, and can boost investors’ trust and positively influence the performance of an organisation while protecting shareholders’ interests.”
Announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng last November, the SVDP is expected to enhance tax revenue collection for the government.
Deloitte Malaysia said the initiative represented the government’s focus on promoting compliance to enhance tax revenue collection, rather than burdening all taxpayers by raising income tax rates.
The government has estimated the income tax collection from individuals to amount to RM34.8bil in 2018, while companies would be paying RM70.54bil.
For 2019, without taking into account additional tax revenue from the SVDP, the figures are anticipated to be flat at RM34.9bil and RM70.2bil for individuals and companies, respectively. In 2017, the government collected a total of RM177.66bil in tax revenue, while in 2018, it was RM174.7bil. The government is estimated to collect RM176.15bil in 2019, and this has yet to take into account additional revenue under the SVDP.