PUTRAJAYA: The 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST) must be deducted at the cash register and reflected in the receipt although retailers are allowed to maintain the old price tags – for the time being – when the tax is zero-rated beginning June 1.
Business premises would be allowed to “take some time” to retag their goods with new prices following requests for a grace period, says Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Ministry enforcement director Datuk Roslan Mahyuddin.
“We met with stakeholders last week and among others, they requested to be given two to three months to change the price tags as some retail outlets have thousands of goods.
“The ministry will give them some time but we have yet to decide to give them three months or a shorter period,” he told a press conference yesterday.
The Government announced it will remove the GST and replace it with the sales and service tax.
GST zero-rated supply means the goods and services are not taxed, hence the taxable company does not need to collect any GST on sales.
While traders were given the leeway on the price tag issue, they were given a stern warning by the authorities not to continue to charge unsuspecting customers with the tax.
Roslan advised consumers to be vigilant and check that they were not charged with GST.
“We have collected samples of goods with the 6% GST locked in, and will compare them to the June 1 prices. Those who continue to charge GST will be dealt with.
“My men will be on the ground to closely monitor the situation but consumers must play their part by checking their bills to ensure goods purchased have been zero-rated.
“Alert us if they are incidents,” he said.
On complaints that prices of essential goods had gone up, Roslan said a sharp increase in demand was responsible.
“This, coupled with lower production, had resulted in consumers having to pay more for certain food items. This is a normal trend during the early part of Ramadan, when demand for goods goes up by as much as 50% compared to normal days.
“But with Ramadan entering the second week, we see prices now more stable. And the fair weather helps in ensuring a constant supply of certain produce,” he said, adding the ministry would set the ceiling price for certain essential goods beginning June 8.