Go after errant Tuns and Tan Sris too, Anwar tells LHDN


CYBERJAYA: Everyone, regardless of their position, should pay their taxes and the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) should be stricter in its enforcement, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said it is crucial that the LHDN does not give the impression that those who are powerful and rich are safe from any form of enforcement.

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“I always say – carry out your duties. Whether he is an Ahmad, Ah Seng, Tan Sri or Tun, see whether or not they are paying their taxes.

“If they are not paying taxes, identify them and take action,” he said at an event at the LHDN headquarters here yesterday.

Earlier, Anwar recalled his first tenure as Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998, when he visited LHDN.

“I was briefed that during that time, many giant and famous companies in the country found it ‘tough’ to pay taxes. Some paid in full; others paid half.

“The leadership of LDHN then was brave, and they took action even against giant businesses ...Because of their commitment and sacrifice, I decided to upgrade the then-LHDN department into a government agency,” he added.

Earlier, Anwar said Malaysia has one of the lowest income tax rates in the region, at 11.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP), compared with Singapore (12.6%) and Thailand (16.4%).

He also said that last year, LHDN set a record by collecting RM183.34bil in income taxes, RM7.8bil or 4.49% more than the income tax collection the previous year.

According to Anwar, as of December last year, there were 5.7 million income taxpayers who paid a total of RM40.96bil.

“For companies, there were 539,113 with collections totalling RM98.77bil,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anwar said the ongoing Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme by LHDN has received 68,806 voluntary declarations as of Feb 15, amounting to RM610.62mil in income taxes collected.

“It is undeniable that new LHDN initiatives have increased national revenue,” he added.

He said at the same time, revenue collected by the Customs Department and LHDN has improved the Sumbangan Asas Rahmah (Sara) initiative, where the number of aid recipients has increased to more than 700,000 people compared with 210,000 in the previous year.

“I hope recipients won’t forget the contribution of the LHDN, Customs Department and other government agencies,” he added.

Individual and non-individual taxpayers can now submit their tax returns for the 2023 year of assessment through e-Filing.

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