IRB action comes under fire


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003

BY CLARENCE CHUA

PETALING JAYA: Trade unions and consumer associations have hit out at the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) for conducting a door-to-door exercise to serve tax forms on taxpayers who failed to declare their income. 

However, the IRB defended its action, saying that the move was within its jurisdiction and supported by loyal taxpayers.  

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) and the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) were unequivocal in calling the move “unnecessary” and urged the IRB to set a “last warning” deadline instead. 

MTUC secretary-general G. Rajasekaran reasoned that the IRB had already adopted a pay-as-you-earn system, and submitting Form B (tax returns) would not change a taxpayer's status.  

“For most employees, they are already paying taxes in advance from deductions made by the IRB. The IRB records and the ones submitted by taxpayers will more or less be the same,” he said, adding that the move could expose more households to crime as criminals could use this as a pretext to enter premises.  

NUTP secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said although it was a social responsibility to pay taxes, the door-to-door tactic would cause ill feelings among the public.  

“It is a waste of time for the IRB when nobody is at home. People are busy and a deadline should be set for them to respond.” 

IRB officers went from house to house in several areas in the Klang Valley on Sunday to deliver tax forms and notices to some 20,000 errant taxpayers. 

Fomca president Datuk Hamdan Adnan said the situation could be resolved diplomatically if the IRB had shown goodwill in handling the matter.  

“Calling the press is creating bad publicity and this is uncalled for.” 

Several callers have also demanded reciprocal efficiency from the IRB in refunding excess taxes deducted from their wages. 

IRB public relations principal assistant director Mazlan Wan Chik, however, defended its action. 

“Those who exercise their duties can sleep better. Some of our counters had registered an influx of taxpayers seeking to submit their forms and change their addresses.  

“People must understand that we are also helping the taxpayers. We have received numerous calls especially from regular taxpayers, supporting our move because they believe it is a fair thing to do.”  

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