Tourists who make online bookings for accommodations to be charged tax under new Bill


KUALA LUMPUR: Tourists who make online bookings for their accommodations shall be charged with tourism tax, which will be levied on them.

This is among the proposed amendments under the Tourism Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020 tabled for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Dec 10).

The Bill also proposed that the tourism tax shall be charged and levied on a tourist staying at any accommodation premises made available through services relating to the online booking of accommodation premises provided by a digital service provider.

The Bill also seeks to provide that the digital platform service provider who makes accommodation premises available through services relating to the online booking of accommodation premises shall collect the tourism tax from a tourist and pay the tax to the Director General.

It also proposes that every digital platform service provider who provides services relating to the online booking of accommodation premises in Malaysia have to apply to be registered.

The Bill was among seven tabled by Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah for its first reading yesterday.

Other Bills tabled include the Windfall Profit Levy (Amendment) Bill 2020, Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020, Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020, Free Zones (Amendment) Bill 2020, Excise (Amendment) Bill 2020, and Customs (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Under the Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020, the government is proposing to impose a service tax for digital services provided by foreign-registered individuals.

The Bill is looking to empower the Treasury director-general to direct any registered person to deduct the refund amount from the service tax to be paid under the individuals return under Section 26.

"Clause 10 seeks to amend Section 40, to extend the application of this section to a foreign registered person relating to the remission of service tax, surcharge accrued, or penalty, fee or other money payable, under the Act," said the Bill.

It also seeks to introduce a new section 56GA to allow a foreign-registered person to make deduction or addition of a service tax in his return if credit notes or debit notes are issued under prescribed circumstances and conditions.

The Bill also seeks to introduce a requirement for a foreign registered person who ceases to be liable to be registered under Section 56D and to furnish a return to the Treasury director-general.

The government is also seeking to empower a proper officer of service tax to make any seizure in any premises under Section 62.

"Subclause 15(b) seeks to extend the application of Section 62 relating to any goods, documents, articles or things to all contents of any conveyance in which the goods, documents, articles or things are found.

"The proposed subsection 62A(1) to empower the proper officer of service tax to seal any goods, documents, articles, or things, or the places, premises, receptacles, packages, or conveyance in which the good, documents, articles or things are found where by reason of their nature, size or amount it is not practicable to remove the goods, documents, articles or things seized," it noted.

It also seeks to make an offence for any person who without lawful authority, breaks, tampers with or damages the seal referred to subsection (1) or removes the goods, documents, articles, things, repatacles, packages or conveyances under the seal, or attempts to do so and to provide punishment for such offence.

The Bill also seeks to provide that a proper officer of service tax shall have all the powers of a police officer of the rank of corporal and below as well as the powers of a prison officer of the rank of a sergeant and below under Prison Act 1995, when escorting and guarding any person in custody

It also wants to confer powers of an officer in charge of a police station on a proper officer of service tax and similarly on the office of the proper officer of service tax shall be deemed to be a police station.

The Bill also plans to introduce a new section to make it an offence to improperly obtain a deduction of service of tax.

It also seeks to require a liquidator of a company which is liable for any service tax due and payable to give notice of winding up of the company to the Treasury director-general.

Currently, the obligation is imposed on a liquidator of a company which is a registered person.

Meanwhile, the government had also tabled amendments to the Sales Tax Act 2018.

It seeks to provide a historical method in calculating the total sale value of all registered manufacturer's taxable goofs who ceases to be liable to be registered in a period of twelve months.

Currently, it only provides for the future method in calculating the total sale value of all taxable goods in a period of twelve months.

"The proposed subsection of 35A(1) seeks to empower the Treasury director-general to direct any registered manufacturer to deduct the amount of refund from the amount of sales tax to be paid from the individual's return," reads the Bill.

It also seeks to amend Section 88A to make it an offence for any person who improperly obtains a deduction of sales tax under Section 23 and under proposed Section 35A.

The government also wanted to require a liquidator of a company which is liable for any sales tax due and payable, to give notice of winding up of the company to the director-general.

Currently, the obligation is imposed on a liquidator of a company which is a registered manufacturer or an importer.

It also wants the receiver of the property of any person who is liable for any sales tax due and payable to give notice of his appointment to the director-general.

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