KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians who fail to come forward to declare their overseas incomes may face an 'unfriendly' reception from the taxman, warns Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah.
"If they (Malaysians) do not come forward to declare their overseas income under the Special Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (SVDS), then they likely will face a not-so-friendly environment from the tax authorities," he said when replying a supplementary question raised by Wong Kah Woh (PH-Ipoh Timur) in Parliament Monday (July 8).
Wong asked if the government would take a more friendly approach in tax collection as the approach taken by the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) to send notices on the SVDS had caused worry among the public.
Amiruddin said the SVDS was targeted at those who had overseas accounts but had not declared or under-declared their incomes to come forward to do so.
He noted there is an understanding between countries under the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to share banking information through its Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) system.
"Through this information, we will know who has overseas bank accounts and whether they have come forward to declare their incomes or under-declared these incomes," he said.
He added that those that failed to declare their incomes would eventually be approached by the taxman to do so.
"Since the SVDS was launched on Nov 3, 2018, a total of 486,360 individuals have declared their income under the scheme," he said.
He said those who had made declarations under scheme until June 30 will face a 10% penalty for undeclared or under-declared incomes.
He added that those making their declarations between July 1 and Sept 30 will face a 15% penalty.
Amiruddin said the discounts were incentives under the SVDS to avoid the usual penalty of between 45% and 300% penalty imposed on tax defaulters for undeclared or under-declared incomes.