Incentives to improve premises


PETALING JAYA: Business groups are seeking a clearer picture on the tax incentive meant for them to renovate and refurbish their premises, which they say is helpful to ensure that their ventilation can be upgraded.

Malaysian Retailers Association vice-president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin hoped the criteria to enjoy the tax benefit would not be so strict.“It should be very simple so that any improvement, however small, would benefit the consumers.

“Most of the larger shopping centres comply with the ventilation requirements as they are required to do so, but this incentive will be useful for smaller retailers or older hypermarkets which may not have complied with the new ventilation requirements,” he said when contacted yesterday.

On Nov 5, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin pointed out that under Budget 2022, the government has extended the tax incentive for the renovation and refurbishment of business premises.

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He said that this would allow more businesses to invest in good ventilation to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Under Budget 2022, the government extended the tax deduction of up to RM300,000 on the cost for renovating and refurbishing business premises until Dec 31, 2022, in order to comply with requirements such as ventilation and customer seating.

However, Ameer pointed out that the incentive should not just include ventilation but also general refurbishments as it was equally important.

“This will be good for the older malls to be able to spend some money to become more competitive. This can perhaps be used to make the shopping centre not just be refurbished in a normal way but with the added technology to give customers a better experience,” he said.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan concurred that the tax incentive would be helpful for restaurant owners.

But he said they remained unclear on the criteria to get the tax incentive.

“We are not sure, so we hope the government will give a clear explanation on how to plan for this ventilation,” he said.

Jawahar suggested that the government give a special grant to outlet owners to purchase ventilation equipment that is suitable for them.

“The local authorities should also make the application easier for outlet owners to do renovation by not asking unnecessary documents and charging us exorbitantly,” he said.

He said outlet owners should also not be charged a fee for placing chairs and tables at the five-foot-way in front of restaurants, especially corner lots, which does not pose a hindrance to the public as this would help customers sit in open spaces.

“Enforcement officers should not take this as an opportunity to summon outlet owners,” he said.

Malaysian Association of Hotels chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said the industry welcomed any form of tax deduction, incentives or allowances.

However, Yap said they hoped that this tax incentive could be applied on top of any other existing incentives to ease the burden on the upgrading expenses, particularly in ensuring public safety and hygiene.

SME president Ding Hong Sing said any incentive from the government should be translated into action, noting that their focus right now was on ensuring the survival of businesses.

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