KUALA LUMPUR: Petty traders in several areas in the Klang Valley were caught by surprise when the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) sent its officers to check on business premises.
Dubbed Operasi Banci Bisnes, 106 officers from 13 branches combed the busy lanes in Petaling Street, Bangsar, Damansara Uptown and Jalan Kuchai Lama last night to distribute survey forms and reminders on tax returns.
The checks were on random basis but majority of the traders who were approached claimed they were not the proprietors.
“I don’t know whether my boss has paid up the taxes because I am here only to look after this place,” said a worker known as Yap.
Yap, who is manning a stall in Petaling Street, looked upset on seeing the IRB officers came a calling in droves.
“They are scaring my customers away,” he claimed.
Another worker, who was manning a stall selling watches and other knick-knacks, said he was not much of a help to the IRB’s enquiries on taxes and sales.
“I really don’t know how much the owner makes. What I can do is to pass him the survey form when he comes by once a week,” said the worker.
Director of Tax Audit Division Che Omar A. Rahaman, who led the two-day operation, said the stall must keep a record of how much sales and profits they made and preferably a copy of their tax returns.
“We are doing this survey without prejudice to any particular trader. What we want to do is to remind them to pay their taxes promptly,” said Omar.
Omar said compliance by petty traders to file their tax returns was low despite the reminders.
“We only get about 70% of them filing their taxes and during our operations, we get around 20% more new tax payers registering with us,” he said.
Omar said those who failed to inform the IRB on their new mailing or has moved from their business premises would be considered an offender.
The operation, continuing today, has covered about 2,400 business premises.
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