What is GST? – Malaysia 2015 [Infographic]

It is official! On October 10, the plans and strategies that are tabulated under the Budget 2015 were revealed to us.

The most awaited of all would be on the implementation of the 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST), effective 1 April 2015. GST will be a part of the Government’s tax reform programme to enhance the capability, effectiveness and transparency of tax administration and management.

Under the current tax system, the Government depends too much on direct taxes, both from individual and corporate taxpayers. With the surprising fact that only 1.8 million Malaysians pay individual income taxes, our Government is running low on tax revenue collected. This is causing them to incur more debt each year to sustain their primary spending. In Budget 2014, we saw the Government cutting back on public sector expenses and subsidies to generate savings.

The current Sales and Services Tax (SST) is narrow based as it is levied at only one stage of the supply chain – sales tax at manufacturer level and service tax at consumer level. This makes it difficult for Customs and the Inland Tax Revenue Board to identify non-compliance of taxpayers.

In order to address these issues, the Government is in the midst of overhauling the country’s financial system to find new sources of revenue and improve the efficiency of tax collection, to which GST is being introduced. GST will be imposed on all goods and services at every production and distribution stage in the supply chain including importations of goods and services. As GST will be paid at every step of the supply chain process, this will enable the authorities to determine who is avoiding duties and taxes.

As GST is based on consumption, rather than income, it spreads the tax burden evenly and widens tax base. This allows for the Government to have a wider scope for tax collection and diversify away from reliance on direct taxes. GST system has in-built mechanism to make the tax administration self-police and therefore will enhance compliance. Increased compliance enables more taxes to be collected, and therefore increases tax revenue.

With 7 months away from its implementation, find out: (1) Key Statistics on Tax, (2) What is GST, and (3) How it will address the current gap in tax revenue collection.

Infographic for GST


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