Investing in a point-of-sale system would help to simplify GST processesfor businesses and save cost in the long run, Customs Dept tells CHERYL POO.
Customs GST director Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy said business owners should invest in a point-of-sale (POS) system that was compliant with the Goods and Services Tax, adding that he was concerned as to how businesses would cope with the value-added tax.
Top on Subromaniam’s list of concerns was how businesses would go about processing what would be taxable and what wouldn’t.
“Manual tracking would be a nightmare,” he said.
“However, once the info on the goods have been uploaded into the POS system, the cashier needs only to scan the item, and this will minimise the computation.”
Over the last couple of months, there have been reports on sundry shop owners struggling to cope with GST procedures.
“Many SME owners are still confused on how to go about the process of invoicing and claiming (their input cost) post-GST,” Customs assistant director of GST K. Mageswaran said at a bi-weekly hand-holding programme.
Some 200-300 participants had been attending the daily training sessions leading up to the implementation of the tax, he said.
To be fair, there are many other small businesses that are able to cope, but complying with the GST is a challenge for elderly business owners who are not savvy when it comes to information technology.
“Many businesses have registered and are trying to understand better how to go about it when the GST is implemented. But the real test is how they will actually fare when it kicks off,” Subromaniam said.
“We have put in a lot of effort to help businesses adapt to the GST. One solution is to invest in a POS system, which would be a one-off investment of about RM3,000. With the help of information and communications technology (ICT), which is (tax) deductible, small businesses like sundry shops need not hire a clerk to manage their GST processes. At the press of a button, all the numbers they need would be available on the screen,” Subromaniam said.
“In the long run, the upfront investment in the POS system is only a fraction of the business cost. Business owners need to change with the times or they will lose out,” he added.
On consumers’ concern regarding price hike, Mageswaran said: “Do not be concerned about the pricing of goods. If after adding the 6% GST, the price becomes too high, we will advise business owners to adjust it. Ultimately, we want to make sure consumers are not shocked.”
Subromaniam said efforts to educate businesses and the public would be ongoing so as to prevent any further confusion on GST.
Businesses can make a tax deduction of RM10,000 for secretarial fees and an additional RM5,000 for the filing process of GST.
“This deduction will be permanent. Besides that, the individual income tax will also be reduced. These are some the things we are doing to help the public cope with GST,” Subromaniam said.