The IRBM collected RM145.1 billion from direct taxes in 2019 which was the highest tax collection recorded by the IRBM to-date. It was RM8.08 billion or 5.89% more than the tax collection in the previous year. This was aided by the Special Voluntary Disclosure Program (SVDP) whereby a total of 286,428 Malaysians made voluntary tax declarations that contributed total tax collections and penalties of RM7.88 billion to the IRBM.
As announced recently, the tax collection target for 2020 is set at a record RM154.7 billion. The question is, how can the IRBM achieve this new target in view that the Government is not planning to continue with the SVDP and that various industry sectors have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak?
Measures announced in the 2020 Budget included the rationalising of tax incentives, reduction of tax leakages and improvement of tax compliance via more effective auditing techniques. Below are the notable initiatives taken by the IRBM in the past few months:
- The IRBM announced that it has increased its staff allocation for enforcement activities from 60% to 80% of its staff strength;
- The IRBM issued a set of new Operational Guidelines - GPHDN 5/2019 which took effect from 1 October 2019 that set out the revised penalty rates for late filing of tax returns and failure to file tax returns. Under the New Guidelines, a higher penalty rate of 45% is imposed for income tax returns filed after 24 months from the statutory filing deadline;
- The IRBM uploaded the Taxpayer Roadmap in its website on 24 January 2020 to describe the flow of audit, appeal, collection and litigation procedures; and
- The IRBM issued the revised tax audit and investigation frameworks recently with the aim to inform taxpayers about the IRBM’s procedures in tax audits and investigations.