Tabled in Parliament: Tax breaks to help tide over pandemic blues

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has tabled the Finance Bill 2020, which it says provides several tax breaks to help Malaysians face the financial impact of Covid-19.

The Bill was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat by Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah on Monday (Nov 16) and is expected to be passed in the current sitting that ends on Dec 15.

The Bill seeks, among others, to amend several existing laws such as the Income Tax Act to provide higher tax deductions for those undertaking re-skilling courses, the purchase of smartphones and computers, and Covid-19 vaccinations.

Under Section 46(1)(f), those undertaking any up-skilling tertiary course including those related to Masters or Doctorate degrees, will be eligible for between RM1,000 and RM7,000 in deductions for the assessment periods 2021 and 2022.

Also, those obtaining vaccination for themselves, spouses or children will be entitled to a RM1,000 tax deduction under Section 46(1)(g) for the year assessment 2021 and 2022.

This covers vaccinations for pneumococcal disease, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, rotavirus, and Covid-19.

Deductions on medical expenses for serious diseases was also increased from RM6,000 to RM8,000.

Also provided are tax breaks of RM2,500 under Section 46(1)(p) for the purchase of personal computers, smartphones or tablets for personal use made between June 1 and Dec 31 this year.

Sport enthusiasts will also get a tax break of up to RM500 for purchasing sports equipment between 2021 and 2022.

The tabling of the Bill comes in wake of the RM322.5bil Budget 2021 on Nov 6, the largest in the nation's history, aimed at weathering the impact of Covid-19.

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