KUALA LUMPUR: The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) repaid RM7.6bil in income tax refunds as of April 30, 2019, according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said on Friday that of the total of RM7.6bil, the IRB had repaid RM5.2bil to 70,205 company cases and RM2.4bil repaid to 1,186,288 non-company cases by IRB.
“As for the GST refunds, RM9.bil has been refunded by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to 76,002 GST registrants as of April 30, 2019,” he said.
The payments totalled RM17.10bil which has been refunded to GST and income taxpayers.
Lim said in the 2019 Budget speech on Nov 2, 2018, the Ministry of Finance announced that Petroliam Nasional Bhd would pay a special dividend of RM30bil to the government which will go towards repaying the GST and income tax refunds of RM37bil this year.
This one-off special dividend from Petronas has started to be paid to the government in stages, and the repayment of tax refunds to the taxpayers has commenced since January.
For the year 2019 until April 30, Li said RM16bil of special dividend was received from Petronas while a total of RM17.1bil had been refunded to GST and income taxpayers.
Commenting on the RM37bil of arrears in income tax refunds of six years and GST refunds of three years, Lim said they “represent the failure of the previous government to manage its finances by withholding taxpayers’ monies without a credible reason, in order to spend the monies”.
Tthe arrears in GST and income tax refunds involve 121,429 GST registrants and 1,653,786 companies, individuals, societies and foundations taxpayers respectively as of May 31, 2018.
“The repayment of these tax refunds demonstrates that the Pakatan Harapan Government did not misappropriate the special dividend from Petronas and is sincere in fulfilling our promise to return the tax refunds to the Malaysian people and companies.
“This is yet another burden that the Pakatan Harapan Government has to bear despite not spending the money. Nonetheless, the repayment of tax refunds is expected to generate a positive impact for businesses in Malaysia and contribute towards economic growth,” Lim said.