TITLE: Building A More Business-Friendly Tax Ecosystem

DATE: 03/04/2019

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 APRIL - The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the Malaysian Association of Tax Accountants (M.A.T.A.) recently jointly organised the Malaysian Tax Conference 2019, with the theme of Malaysia Baru’s Tax Reform Agenda – What’s Next.

These ongoing and upcoming tax reforms are intended to build a more business-friendly and competitive tax ecosystem and to strengthen taxpayer compliance, explained guest of honour YBhg Dato’ Sri Sabin Samitah, Chief Executive Officer, Inland Revenue Board (IRB) of Malaysia, in his keynote address.

A More Business-Friendly Tax Ecosystem. This is a tax ecosystem that is simplified, internationally competitive and inclusive of all. “We hope that by improving the tax system, we can sharpen Malaysia’s global competitiveness as a desirable investment and business destination,” said Dato’ Sri Sabin.

“A more business-friendly tax ecosystem will also help enhance tax transparency, compliance and collection. Better compliance will help the IRB collect the right amount of tax to enable the delivery of public goods and services, and supports good governance and nation building,” he added.

Dato’ Sri Sabin also recognised MIA and M.A.T.A for their initiatives in organising Conferences such as today’s Conference, which will build up competency and capacity in the Tax Profession.

Greater Co-operative Compliance. In his earlier remarks, MIA President Salihin Abang had stressed that this Conference is also a platform to advocate for greater co-operative compliance, whereby tax regulators are engaging closely with taxpayers to improve compliance and support.

Aligning Tax, Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards. The MIA President also highlighted how MIA is working with other regulators and stakeholders to align tax, accounting and financial reporting standards. “Right now, there is a lot of divergence. Through alignment, we can simplify the tax system for the benefit of all stakeholders, to make documentation and processes easier, and make Malaysia an easier place to do business,” he said.

Combating Bogus Accountants. During his keynote speech, Dato’ Sri Sabin also commended MIA as the regulator of the accountancy profession on its progress in combating the bogus accountants in the country. “This is a very important initiative, as the practice of unqualified accountants does have an adverse impact on the country. Bogus accountants can prevent us from collecting the right amount of tax from businesses and individuals, resulting in loss of income to the government,” he said.

Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme. “The first phase of the SVDP offering a reduced penalty rate of 10 percent ended three days ago. We have now entered the second phase of the programme, with a reduction in penalty from 300 percent to 15 percent. The SVDP provides an avenue for those with overseas bank accounts to come clean on their tax affairs with regard to those accounts, especially if the income derived is from Malaysia, and has yet to be reported for tax purposes. For the rest of the taxpayers, SVDP provides an opportunity for you to clear any outstanding tax issues that may still be pending, especially unreported, or under-declared, in the past,” said Dato’ Sri Sabin as a reminder on the SVDP initiative announced by the government in the 2019 Budget last year.