'The bill will not be tabled this session as the government needs more time to engage with the public for feedback,' a top finance ministry official told Reuters.Malaysia's budget deficit hit a more than 20 year high of 7.4 per cent of gross domestic product in 2009, according to government data.
- Implementation will be a slow & steady tax process, not until middle to late 2011 or 2012, so that individuals and small businesses will not be adversely affected.
- It will replace the 10+5% services and goods tax.
- Government’s income will increase. This will enable further development and budget control to the country, other than relying just on petroleum or income tax revenues.
- It’s a broad-based tax system. Some items may be slightly more expensive & cheaper. It’s not an overall standardized taxation method.
Being a broad based tax, GST can be charged on practically all supplies of goods and services. GST adopts a credit offset mechanism whereby tax charged on supplies made by a taxable business may be net off against tax paid on inputs to production.
Only the difference is remitted to the government. The netting off goes on along the production and supply chain until the household consumer purchases the goods or services. The household consumer, not qualifying to claim the net off under GST, bears the burden of the tax.
GST is also known to encourage compliance and can be viewed as a self-policing tax. This is because the credit offset mechanism encourages businesses to register themselves to claim the input tax credits on purchases.
Combined with the broad base nature of the tax, it would be fair to say that a large portion of the grey economy will not be spared too.Malaysia has been stuck with fiscal deficits for more than a decade. The budget deficit is projected to have ballooned to a record high of more than 7% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) last year, although the Government is determined to bring that level down to 5.6% of GDP this year, and less than 4% of GDP by 2015.
Many countries have successfully adopted GST as part of their fiscal strategy, including our neighbours Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. And over the years, the scheme has proved to be a good tool to strengthen government finances.
Presently, the Government has a narrow revenue base that is dependent mostly on direct taxes on income and contributions from oil-related sources.
Contributions from oil and gas to the Government’s coffer have been growing over the years, and presently account for around 40% of the total. A risky situation, considering the fact that oil and gas is not a reliable source of revenue over the medium to long term because the commodities are depleting natural resources, and their prices are volatile.
GST covers all types of goods & services sold to Malaysian & non-Malaysian residents (therefore consumers) except for a common commodities such as rice, flour & sugar.
Did you know that of all working Malaysians, less than 20% actually paid taxes. That is absolutely reprehensible. If you consume, you pay. There is too much grey economy living well without paying taxes. Owing to the netting effect, more businesses will have to produce revenue figures in order to get the net off effect. As things stand, if you want our salaries to rise, it is also important to remove stupid prohibitive taxes on certain consumption items such as cars. Any hike in salary will only be meaningful if we do not end up having to pay for the prohibitive "taxes" on cars. Technically speaking we are putting money into Proton's and Perodua's coffers - the government should really distribute free Proton and Perodua shares to all car buyers for the past 20 years. But I digress.
p/s photos: Wang Yibing