Last Minute Income Tax e-Filing Tips
Filing your taxes does not exactly invoke the same feelings as planning for a vacation. However, unlike that vacation, taxes are mandatory. You may like to live life dangerously and wait until the very last minute to file your taxes (like now). But that’s risky for a number of reasons.
First of all, failing to declare your taxable income puts you at risk for an audit by the Inland Revenue Board. This essentially means that government auditors will comb through your finances from the last five years to ensure that you aren’t hiding anything.
Secondly, if you are found to owe tax payments, you could be charged with tax evasion. Under this, you could be fined between RM1,000 and RM20,000; plus you will need to pay a 300% premium on what you owe in missed taxes.
Alternatively, the IRB could simply have you jailed for failing to submit your tax records.
Alright, you’ve put off your filing long enough. Assuming that you’re adamant about getting it sorted as soon as possible – let’s look at how you can get right into it:
e-Filing is your only hope
Manual submission of income tax forms deadline took place on 30 April, which means you are too late. Right now, you need to be filing your taxes through the online system. To do this, you will need to activate your e-filing option.
This means running down to the nearest IRB office to open a tax file (if you don’t already have one). You can also take advantage of the IRB branches at your nearest Urban Transformation Centre (UTC). These are usually open later than the IRB offices so you can run off after work. They are also usually less crowded.
For the most part, your employer’s HR department should have already sorted this out for you. In that case, you will need to request for an e-filing PIN in order to register your account. Once that’s done, you’re set to start your last minute filing.
Once you’ve obtained your PIN number, head over to the LHDN’s e-Filing website and complete your registration. We’ve written a handy guide on how to go about filing your taxes online if you’re still unsure about what to do.
Use our income tax calculator to find out!
Focus on the most important reliefs
Once you’ve completed your registration, you will be directed to the following steps. This is where you need to look through your pile of receipts and decide which ones to use for your tax reliefs. Tax reliefs are areas that allows you, as a taxpayer, to deduct a certain amount of money from your total annual income. This step is extremely important because it’s how you reduce the total amount of taxes paid.
Tax reliefs are for certain areas or activities that the government encourages, and also serves to lighten your financial burden. For example, your expenses in areas like lifestyle (internet subscription, purchase of books, smartphones, computers, and more), medical, education and such can be claimed back.
Click here for the full list of tax reliefs applicable for your filing this year.
Get a friend or colleague to help you out
At this point, it’s too late to hire a consultant or accountant to help you with your taxes. But that’s okay. Most of us operate on different pay grades. While you might be a tax neophyte, some of your colleagues and friends might be experts at filing their taxes. Given its complexity, they’d be happy to help you out and give you some pointers and tips based on how they did theirs. In fact, it might be faster that way too, as opposed to trying to figure it out all by yourself.
Alternatively, you can also call the LHDN helpline at 1-800-88-5436. There are customer service agents there ready to help answer any questions you have.
Double check for mistakes
Because you’ve waited until the very last minute to file your taxes, you’re more likely to make mistakes. Make sure to double-check every piece of information and your numbers before clicking on that submit button. Better yet, have someone experienced to have a look at it before you turn it in.
Start planning for next year
Once you’ve navigated through the forms and successfully filed your taxes, take a break. Pat yourself on the back and maybe get an ice-cream. After that, start preparing for next year. Keep a folder to file to store your receipts and other tax-related documents.
With these tips, you should be able to navigate the last few days of filing your taxes without too much hassle. Get to it before 15 May, because there’s no other way around it – and you don’t want to risk getting audited.