No mercy for tax offenders

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

Paying your dues: As of July, nearly 490,000 taxpayers have taken part in the SVDP to reveal their undeclared incomes to the government.

PETALING JAYA: The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), along with its foreign tax counterparts, will go after tax evaders when the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) ends on Sept 30, says its chief Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah.

Sabin said LHDN internally has in place a good data platform and enough information on taxpayers to gauge their compliance levels.

“At the international level, LHDN is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global Forum.

“One of the initiatives under the Global Forum is the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI).

“Malaysia has begun receiving financial accounts information from our foreign tax counterparts since September 2018.

“This data will be put to good use once the SVDP comes to an end, where we will be contacting taxpayers who failed to come forward voluntarily under the programme, ” he said.

He was commenting on action that will come after the SVDP ends.

As of July, nearly 490,000 taxpayers took part in the SVDP to reveal their undeclared incomes to the government.

Sabin had earlier said that LHDN targeted to get at least one million taxpayers with an estimated RM10bil in tax collection.

“The full data on participation in SVDP will be made known once the programme ends on Sept 30, ” he said.

He warned offenders that there will be no mercy for those who has yet to comply.

For those who failed to make good use of the SVDP, more stringent measures will be imposed in the form of higher penalties, ranging from a minimum rate of 45% up to a maximum of 300%.

“It will be more stringent, especially in terms of the penalty imposed.

“It has been made very clear from the onset that the SVDP is an opportunity for taxpayers with compliance issues to come forward voluntarily and declare any non-compliance to the tax laws in place, ” said Sabin.

On Sept 16, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said LHDN officers must not resort to arbitrary tactics with taxpayers.

“The days of midnight raids of homes, armed with weapons and wearing balaclava masks are over.

“LHDN must adopt a friendlier, kinder, gentler approach and treat taxpayers who contribute taxes as partners, ” Lim said.

Sabin said LHDN is aware that “mistakes, errors and overlooking the responsibility to file taxes in a proper manner may occur over time.“Therefore the SVDP is a gift from the government to these people to make good their affairs.

“In no way will those who come forward under this programme be viewed as tax evaders, just citizens fulfilling their tax obligations, ” said Sabin.

He also pointed out that SVDP is a one-off initiative and will not be reintroduced in the near future.

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