Guan Eng: Study on SST exemptions, reductions to be completed by year-end

KUCHING: An study on requests for the sales and services tax (SST) to be exempted or reduced for various items is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said an in-depth study had to be done on requests for exemptions or reductions as it would have a chain effect on other products.

"When we receive a request for exemption, the ministry and Customs Department have to study it in detail because the implications are broad.

"If it is for one product only there's no problem, but if it involves other products in a chain effect, we have to study it in-depth.

"We hope we can complete the study by the end of the year," he told reporters before attending a briefing on SST here on Wednesday (Sept 5) night.

Lim said engagement with stakeholders would be an ongoing process to address teething problems with the implementation of SST, which came into effect on Sept 1.

He said he had been attending briefing sessions being conducted nationwide by Customs to find out the problems faced by businesses and their feedback and suggestions.

"We are always ready to listen. In many of these sessions, we have made decisions to reduce the tax rate or give exemptions after listening to a different perspective.

"As a new minister, I want to go to the ground and listen to the people's views and we will try to improve," he said.

Lim also said although there should be no major problems as SST was not a new tax system, there might be some confusion as the scope and threshold levels were different.

"The scope of exemption is broader compared to before and the threshold has also been increased, for example to RM1.5mil for restaurants.

"Some people are asking whether their products are taxed or how to claim refunds. We are here to answer questions," he said.

Lim Guan Eng , SST , study , exemptions