Firms still strug­gling with GST re­turns


ONE and a half years af­ter im­ple­ment­ing the goods and ser­vices tax (GST), the Cus­toms Depart­ment found in its cur­rent au­dit of GST-reg­is­tered firms that a third of them have prob­lems with sub­mis­sion of re­turns for the new tax.

Un­der the first phase of the Cus­toms Blue Ocean Strat­egy Op­er­a­tions, which be­gan on Sept 1, the depart­ment tar­gets to au­dit 50,000 firms to en­sure they are on the right track.

Cus­toms deputy direc­tor-gen­eral (Cus­toms and GST) Datuk Subro­ma­niam Tho­lasy told Nanyang Siang Pau the first week of the ex­er­cise went smoothly but of the firms au­dited, one-third were fac­ing prob­lems, es­pe­cially re­lat­ing to their fail­ure to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion ac­cu­rately in their GST re­turns.

He be­lieved that the ma­jor­ity of the firms which sub­mit­ted in­ac­cu­rate re­turns did so due to in­cor­rect guid­ance.

How­ever, he said in some in­stances, Cus­toms of­fi­cers found firms they au­dited had many customers but the rev­enue stated in their GST re­turns were rel­a­tively low.

He said this dis­crep­ancy ex­isted in both sup­pli­ers and re­tail­ers and the depart­ment need only to look at the pur­chases and stock kept to have an in­di­ca­tion on whether there were any du­bi­ous en­tries in their GST re­turns.

Section 88 of the GST Act 2014 pro­vides that any per­son who makes an in­cor­rect re­turn by omit­ting any in­for­ma­tion, un­der­states any tax or over­states any in­put tax in a re­turn, or gives any in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion in re­la­tion to any mat­ter af­fect­ing his own li­a­bil­ity to tax or the li­a­bil­ity to tax of any other per­son, is deemed to have com­mit­ted an of­fence.

The per­son would be li­able to a fine not ex­ceed­ing RM50,000 and/or im­pris­on­ment for a term not ex­ceed­ing three years and a penalty of the amount of tax which had been un­der­charged.

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