LHDN Is Keeping An Eye On Social Media Influencers With ‘Unordinary’ Wealth

LHDN Is Keeping An Eye On Social Media Influencers With ‘Unordinary’ Wealth

The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has stated that they are keeping track of social media influencers who flaunt their extraordinary wealth on social media, to ensure that they stay compliant with the tax regulations.

In a report from The Star, LHDN’s chief executive officer stated that social media influencers who show off their wealth on social media should know that LHDN is monitoring and conducting checks to ensure that these social media influencers are actively reporting and paying off their taxes.

The report also states that LHDN has established a special unit to focus on the activities of these social media show-offs.

Some of the people that are frequently under LHDN’s monitoring include digital entrepreneurs and social media influencers, especially those with a love of flaunting their cash and luxury items.

These people are being monitored to ensure that they are not committing tax evasion.

The special unit is called Digital and Behavioural Insights Economy Section (DEBIS), and it serves two main purposes; The first is to perform tax activity operations, while the second is “tax nudging”, an act of using behavioural interventions to increase tax compliance. This is done in multiple ways, such as by sending letters or simplifying tax forms.

Abu Tariq stated that DEBIS monitors multiple social media platforms as part of their duties, and these platforms include Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, WhatsApp, Telegram and even blogs.

While speaking to The Star, Abu Tariq also added that online transactions have shifted to become the focal point of tax evasion among individuals, which reflects the changing economic trend and the expanding digital landscape of Malaysia.

For social media influencers without a tax record, LHDN will send them a notice that requests them to report their income and file their taxes.

A penalty for non-compliance will be placed on a case-to-case basis, depending on the reason for their non-compliance.

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