PETALING JAYA: The extension of the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) tax relief until 2024 has come as happy news to parents of school-going children.
Logistics manager Sarah Hassan said the SSPN tax relief was most welcome, noting how it helped her three children complete their higher education.
“I have a son still in school, and the SSPN tax relief can help give some additional funds to support his education.
“It also gives some extra disposable income which I can use for his higher education,” said the 48-year-old.
A senior manager, who wanted to be known as Muhd Azlan, said the tax relief extension encouraged him to continue to put savings into SSPN.
“My daughter is 17 and is furthering her education next year. The SSPN tax relief also allows me to have extra money which can be used on her education expenditures.
“Hopefully, this relief can continue the following years as well,” said the 50-year-old.
Marketing executive A. Hannah, 37, is now leaning towards contributing to SSPN due to the continuation of tax relief.
“I was on the fence on this for a while, and wanted to set up a fund for my eight-year-old son.
“Even if the relief isn’t continued in the following years, at least I will have a trusted avenue to save for my son’s future education expenses,” said the mother of two.
When tabling the Supply Bill 2023 for its second reading in the Dewan Negara yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the extension of individual income tax relief of up to RM8,000 for net savings in SSPN until 2024.
Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said this was decided after hearing public concerns and complaints to the government, adding that it would incur losses of RM250mil per year in government revenue, but would benefit approximately 400,000 taxpayers.
On Monday, Deputy Finance Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong said the government decided to discontinue individual tax relief for SSPN contributors.
According to Sim, the decision was due to the reduction by two percentage points for the M40, higher medical claims, and other forms of tax relief.
The reintroduction of the SSPN tax relief also came after several MPs urged for it to be continued under Budget 2023.
Among them was MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong who said that parents felt discontinuing the exemption was not a good decision.
The Ayer Hitam MP added that the tax relief was continued under the previous administration and was announced when Budget 2023 was tabled by then-finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz in October last year.
Dr Wee also said it was not too late for the government to decide on extending tax relief for SSPN contributors, as the 2023 year of assessment only begins early next year.
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman also urged the government to reconsider the decision, adding that it was an initiative to ensure Malaysians could further their education.
Other additional initiatives announced by Anwar yesterday were more Aidilfitri assistance, and the provision of housing credit through Syarikat Jaminan Kredit Perumahan.