Tax relief for sports training only if providers are registered, says Yeoh

PUTRAJAYA: Training providers must be an association, sports club or company registered with the Sports Commissioner or incorporated under the Companies Act 2016 for taxpayers to enjoy the claimable relief for sports.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh (pic) said this was one of the criteria for the tax relief that could be sought from this year.

"We understand not all coaches are registered with the commissioner, so we are also allowing those registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

"In the long run, we want these coaches to be registered with the National Sports Institute, and the clubs to be registered with the commissioner.

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"Payments including receipts generated online (bank-in slips) and bank account statements cannot be used as proof or receipt of payment for the training fees.

"A one-off session or a series of training sessions held in a structured manner such as classes, clinics, courses or workshops are eligible for the relief.

"The type of sports must come under 103 listed in the First Schedule of the Sports Development Act 1997," she told a press conference at the ministry here on Friday (April 19).

Yeoh advised the public to verify that training providers comply with the eligibility conditions and criteria for tax relief.

Expenses that were allowed were those for personal use or self-benefit, and also for a spouse or child, she added.

As for the purchase of equipment for sporting activities, it must fall under the 103 sports listed under the Act, excluding motorised bicycles, she said.

Running shoes also qualified for the relief, she added.

Other expenses such as rental fees or entry fees to any sports facility, registration fees for sports competition and gym membership fees or sports training could all be claimed, Yeoh pointed out.

In tabling Budget 2024 last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim proposed tax relief for the personal purchase of sports equipment, sporting activities as well as fees for sports training up to RM1,000.

"Our intention is to not let the interest in sports die prematurely. We also hope that this incentive will promote a healthy lifestyle and (strengthen) Malaysia as a sporting nation," Yeoh said.

"These (forms of) relief came as a request from parents (for) their children. Before this it was limited to equipment purchase.

"So they asked (to include) the fees paid for their children’s classes," she added.

Asked if there was any intention to increase the tax relief from the present RM1,000, Yeoh said the ministry was working closely with the Inland Revenue Board to outline the terms and monitor the data on those utilising this incentive over the next year.

Among the 103 sports eligible for tax exemption are bicycle, billiards, canoeing, card games, arm wrestling, hapkido, kabaddi, kempo, korfball, surfing, paintball, traditional sport, yoga, lion and dragon dance, throwball and electronic sports.

Sports such as aquatics, badminton, weightlifting, netball, football, volleyball, dodgeball, bowling, judo, karate, tae kwon do, athletics, archery and rugby are also eligible for tax relief.

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