Tax filing deadline: Complete online tax return by May 15 with this easy guide


Make sure not to miss that May 15 deadline. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

It’s nearing the end of tax season, with the extended deadline to file last year’s personal income tax returns looming next month on May 15 (for individuals with employment income only) and June 30 (for individuals with business income).

For those who have been putting it off and may need a refresher, or first-timers fresh out of school at their first job, here’s a guide along with some tips to get through it.

Note that this article will focus on those with employment income only, thus those filing e-BE forms.

Steps for first-timers

Those already with a registered account on the MyTax platform can skip ahead to the next section.

To start things off for the first-timers, visit the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia's (LHDNM) MyTax e-filing portal at mytax.hasil.gov.my – this online platform is used in the e-filing process to claim refunds on overpaid income tax.

On the login section of the website's main page, choose the type of ID that will be used for the portal – for this guide, the "identification card no", which is the MyKad number, option will be selected, though, passport number, army number, and police numbers are also available.

Choose the ID type to be used in logins before hitting submit. — Photos: Screenshots of MyTax portalChoose the ID type to be used in logins before hitting submit. — Photos: Screenshots of MyTax portal

Once entered, hit the submit button. New taxpayers will then be notified that their digital certification does not exist, requiring them to submit either an e-CP55D form or go through an Electronic Know-Your-Customer (e-KYC) process.

Users can select either option to get their Digital Certificate and follow the instructions as shown on the page.Users can select either option to get their Digital Certificate and follow the instructions as shown on the page.

Users can select either option and follow the instructions as shown on the page, though do note that opting to complete the e-CP55D form will require a digital copy of the MyKad or passport, while e-KYC will need users to install the MyTax app on their smartphone.

Do note that opting to complete the e-CP55D form will require a digital copy of the user's MyKad or passport.Do note that opting to complete the e-CP55D form will require a digital copy of the user's MyKad or passport.

After submission, verification will then take up to five days, after which users will be provided with a link via their registered email address to activate their account – this link is only valid for a certain length of time, with the exact expiry date and time also included in the email.

After verification, users will receive a link to activate their account via email.After verification, users will receive a link to activate their account via email.

Filing your taxes

When logged in to the MyTax platform at mytax.hasil.gov.my, users will be greeted with a dashboard, which includes details such as the amount of tax paid in previous years, submission status for the current and prior assessment years, and a review of the user’s travel restrictions (if any) due to tax arrears.

For those who have not filed income tax for 2023 yet, the submission status for the year will state that the “e-form BE has not been submitted”. Clicking on the status will open up the individual return form and allow users to start filling in their information.

Clicking on the submission status for 2023 will open up the individual return form and allow users to start filling in their information.Clicking on the submission status for 2023 will open up the individual return form and allow users to start filling in their information.

The first page of the return form will contain the user's particulars, including their full name, Tax Identification Number (TIN), citizenship, marital status, birth date, and identification card number.

For the most part, just make sure that all the particulars are accurate before moving on to the second particulars page, which asks for details such as the user's phone number, employer number (included in the EA form), and banking information (which will be used for the tax refund).

For the most part, just make sure that all the particulars are accurate on both particulars pages.For the most part, just make sure that all the particulars are accurate on both particulars pages.

When on the income page, users need to fill in details like statutory income, number of employers (usually just one barring a job change), and monthly tax deductions, which are listed in the EA form provided by their employers.

Malaysians who got a new job in 2023 will need to make sure to have a form from each of their employers to properly complete their e-filing.

Items needed to fill in the income page are included in the EA form.Items needed to fill in the income page are included in the EA form.

Next up will be the tax relief page, this is where users can input deductible expenses made during the year, which will be deducted from the statutory income entered earlier.

These deductions will reduce the amount of taxable income and determine if a user needs to pay more income tax than what was deducted over the year or if they overpaid and will receive a refund.

This will be shown on the top right of the page, with a negative number indicating overpaid taxes that will be refunded, and a positive number indicating arrears.

This will be shown on the top right of the page, with a negative number indicating overpaid taxes that will be refunded, and a positive number indicating arrears.This will be shown on the top right of the page, with a negative number indicating overpaid taxes that will be refunded, and a positive number indicating arrears.

This can be quite a significant sum, especially if the taxable income goes down a tax bracket due to the deductions, so do be thorough in keying in the required information on eligible purchases and have receipts at the ready.

All Malaysians are eligible for RM9,000 worth of tax relief by default. They can also claim the following medical-related expenses for dependants: medical treatment, special needs and carer expenses for parents (up to RM8,000), disability equipment for self, spouse, child or parent (up to RM6,000), and a lump sum of RM6,000 for those suffering from a disability.

All Malaysians are eligible for RM9,000 worth of tax relief by default and can also claim medical-related expenses for dependants.All Malaysians are eligible for RM9,000 worth of tax relief by default and can also claim medical-related expenses for dependants.

After that is the education fees section, with claims capped at RM7,000, which covers courses at the tertiary level and general upskilling courses (limited to RM2,000) as well.

All courses at the master’s degree and doctorate levels are deductible, but for undergraduate studies, only courses in the fields of law, accounting, Islamic financing, technical, vocational, industrial, scientific and technology are eligible for tax deductions.

Next up is the medical section, which applies to the user, their spouse and child. Up to RM10,000 in total can be claimed under this category.

Up to RM10,000 in total can be claimed under the medical, just make sure to key in the appropriate type of medical expense for each item.Up to RM10,000 in total can be claimed under the medical, just make sure to key in the appropriate type of medical expense for each item.

It’s a similar process in the lifestyle section that follows. Malaysians can claim up to RM2,500 on their monthly Internet bill, books and other printed materials purchases, as well as computers, smartphones, and tablets purchased for personal use, along with sporting equipment and gym memberships.

This can be done for expenses for themselves, their spouse and child, just make sure that the Internet bill is issued under the claimant’s name and that the sporting activity is one of those listed under the Sports Development Act 1997.

Right below that is the additional lifestyle tax relief meant for sports facility rentals or entrance fees, sports equipment, and registration fees for sports competitions, which is capped at RM500.

Malaysians can claim up to RM2,500 for lifestyle expenses, with an extra RM500 covering certain areas.Malaysians can claim up to RM2,500 for lifestyle expenses, with an extra RM500 covering certain areas.

There's also tax relief for childcare fees up to RM3,000, and deposits to the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN), up to RM8,000. Just make sure to read the claim conditions on the page by hovering over the green "info" button to make sure the specific kind of expense is eligible for that category.

For the most part, when various deductibles are bundled together into a category, the MyTax platform will include the green "info" button to make it clear what items fall under it.

Further tax relief is available depending on the number of children in a household, though this can be claimed by only one of the parents. Do check out the green "info" tooltip for a breakdown of eligibility.

Another thing to take note of is the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contribution and life insurance relief.

Up to RM3,000 of claims for life insurance premiums and voluntary EPF contributions are available, with an additional RM4,000 for EPF contributions or other approved schemes.Up to RM3,000 of claims for life insurance premiums and voluntary EPF contributions are available, with an additional RM4,000 for EPF contributions or other approved schemes.

Up to RM3,000 of claims shared between life insurance premiums and voluntary EPF contributions are available, with an additional RM4,000 for both voluntary and compulsory EPF contributions or other approved schemes.

Other remaining items eligible for tax deductions include private retirement schemes (approved by the Securities Commissions) and deferred annuity, education and medical insurance, Social Security Organisation (Socso) contributions, and the installation, rental, and purchase of electric vehicle charging facilities for personal use, and religious travel.

The next page will be a summary of the year’s income and rebates inputted earlier, so do go through it carefully to ensure there are no mistakes.

Review the information on the summary page to make sure there aren't any mistakes.Review the information on the summary page to make sure there aren't any mistakes.

Finally, it comes to the declaration page, where users can sign and submit the form. Make sure that everything is accurate and in order before doing this, as once done, users will no longer be able to edit their submissions.

Those who return incorrect information will be subject to a penalty, with all documents about the calculation of the year's tax required to be kept for seven years for LHDN’s reference.

Note that users will no longer be able to edit their information after signing and submitting their e-filing form.Note that users will no longer be able to edit their information after signing and submitting their e-filing form.

The declaration page also includes additional reminders, relating to payment methods, due dates, and consequences for failure to furnish payment (if any) by the deadline.

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