Reconsider e-invoicing and just bring back GST, says Dr Wee

PETALING JAYA: The government should reconsider electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) as the proper mechanism is not in place to meet the deadlines set for its implementation, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"It is better to bring back the goods and services tax (GST) to overcome the confusion once and for all," added the MCA president.

Outlining several points from feedback given by the Inland Revenue Department (LHDN), Dr Wee said small businesses will have great difficulty with the implementation.

"When this (e-invoicing is implemented), large businesses will not do business with small ones that do not have e-invoicing," he said in a Facebook video on Monday (May 27).

Dr Wee also noted the frequent revision of requirements for implementing e-invoicing, with 55 data fields initially given for traders to fill in.

He said this was revised to 35 mandatory fields and now, "they said it is consolidated e-invoicing and businesses only need to fill in six of the 55 fields."

He also said the penalties of RM200 to RM20,000 for those who fail to implement e-invoicing were excessive for small traders.

"Why not go for a two-year grace period, like what was given for GST during its implementation, when businesses were not fined or penalised during that time?" he said.

He also asked if the government could guarantee that e-invoicing users would be safe from data breaches and possible compromise of their confidential information.

Dr Wee also said it was curious to see the term "refund note" on LHDN's MyInvois e-invoicing portal.

"What is this? We have heard of credit notes and debit notes, but have not found this term anywhere else in accounting.

"Will businesses need to hire experts to find out what this new 'terminology' is all about? Or is this something unique created here?" he asked.

Dr Wee said he appreciated the hard work of LHDN in increasing revenue for the country.

However, he questioned the need to go to such lengths as e-invoicing, which would only confuse people and burden businesses.

"Why go to such an extent, when GST will solve this issue (of increasing revenue) once and for all," he said.

On Saturday (June 1), the one-year countdown begins in earnest for all businesses in the country to switch to mandatory e-invoicing by July 1 next year.

On Aug 1 this year, the first phase of the project will begin with about 5,000 companies recording annual earnings of RM100mil and above adopting the use of e-invoices.

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