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.