KUALA LUMPUR: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which will see the introduction of the GST to replace the existing sales and services tax next year, will be tabled in Parliament next month.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the Bill was in the final stage of preparation before being submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
“Once tabled, it will be open for debate and it has to be passed into law this year as the GST is scheduled to be implemented in April next year,” he said after opening the forum on “Malaysia’s Goods and Services Tax: Possible lessons from the United Kingdom (UK) and Singapore” here yesterday. The Dewan Rakyat will convene on March 10.
Ahmad said a year after the GST implementation, there would be a rise of between 1.0 and 1.8 per cent in inflation rate.
This, he said, was to be expected as the public was in the process of adjusting to the tax system.
“Three months before the GST, the government will distribute a “shoppers guide” to the public to help them find out which goods and services to be taxed, exempted and zero rated.”
On the first year of GST, the government was expected to reap a net gain of RM3 billion to its coffers, he added.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs senior VAT (value added tax) policy manager Andrew Webb said Malaysia should implement a simple GST system because a complicated and too technical tax regime could corrupt the system.
“The GST is the best tax system in the world because it is already used by over 160 countries around the world,” he added.
Singapore’s Inland Revenue Authority deputy commissioner for international, investigation and indirect taxes group, Chia-Tern Huey Min said they prepared their business community for GST by having extensive consultation and feedback sessions to address and resolve the issues, as well as organising outreach programmes.