IRB to ease penalties in bid to get tax evaders to pay up

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016

PETALING JAYA: The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will ease penalties to encourage tax evaders to step forward.

An IRB spokesman, who disclosed this, said a reduction in penalty would also be offered for voluntary disclosures, and waiver of tax increase for early settlement of tax arrears.

“Details will be in the guidelines,’’ he said.

The guidelines are expected to out by this week.

The spokesman said the “offers” would depend on the merits of each case.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced in his recent Budget recalibration address that the Government will double compliance and auditing efforts on tax evaders to enhance efficiency and increase tax collection.

He also said the Government will give special consideration on relaxation of penalties to encourage taxpayers to come forward and declare their previous incomes. The tax arrears must be settled by the year end.

Last year, IRB announced a reduction of penalty for tax evaders who came forward between May and Nov 30.

IRB has also deployed more audit officers to increase its tax audit coverage.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said the Government was looking to strike a “win-win” situation on the tax arrears issue.

He said the normal tax penalty was up to a staggering 300%.

“Some parties have raised this with me,’’ he said, adding that there would be an acceptable solution.

Chua hoped more would take this opportunity and declare their past years’ income.

Taxand Malaysia chairman Dr Veerin-derjeet Singh said such a move by the Government was normal during an economic downturn.

“This is to increase the number of audits, intensify audits and cover a large number of taxpayers,” he said.

On the latest guidelines, Dr Veerinderjeet said he did not expect it to be very different from what was done in the past.

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