Govt sticking with existing instruments while reviewing GST for better streamlining

KUALA LUMPUR: The Finance Ministry will continue using existing instruments while considering aspects of the goods and services tax (GST) as a way to streamline the overall tax structure, says Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan.

The Finance Minister II said, however, that it would take time for the government to review all the possible tax instruments for this purpose.

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“I think GST is (something) we will continue to look at... it will take time before we review everything.

“At this point, our focus is on the instruments that we already have, such as sales and service tax (SST)," he told reporters on Monday (March 4) amid concerns over the new SST rate and incoming high-value goods tax (HVGT) in May.

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The service tax rate for most sectors was increased by two percentage points, from 6% to 8%, from Friday (March 1).

Meanwhile, there are no details on the impending HVGT.

Amir Hamzah reiterated that the rationale for the new taxes and tax rates was for the benefit of the people, but recognised that the ministry needed to improve its communications with the public.

ALSO READ: Over 2,000 premises inspected by Domestic Trade Ministry following SST increase

He also urged Malaysians to report to the authorities if they found any operators who deliberately increased charges with the excuse of higher service tax.

Earlier on Monday, the Dewan Rakyat was told that more than 2,200 premises have been inspected by the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry following the SST increase.

Its Deputy Minister Fuziah Salleh said 2,239 premises were inspected and 66 notices issued under Ops Kesan.

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