KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): The Chartered Tax Institute Malaysia (CTIM) hopes the government will consider extending the deadline for filing tax returns further, as well as adopt other measures to lessen the coronavirus pandemic's impact on taxpayers, following the two-week extension of the Movement Control Order.
Last week, the Inland Revenue Board announced a two-month extension from the regular tax filing deadline, amid the then March 18-31 MCO.
CTIM said even more time may now be required as access to information needed to file the tax returns may continue to be limited under the extended MCO due to inability to work from office, get access to the Internet and obtain the necessary approvals.
Additionally, it suggests that revisions be made on monthly tax payments, which are based on the estimate of tax payable of the current financial year performance.
“Allowing taxpayers to revise their tax estimates in the month of third monthly instalment payment will assist taxpayers to manage better their cash flows. This in turn will allow them to utilise any cash available to purchase basic necessities, pay for essential expenditure and preserve income due to the impact to the business performance,” said CTIM president Farah Rosley in a statement.
Farah further suggested that businesses be allowed to extend the period for businesses to carry forward their losses. "With the current situation and with many business facing difficulties, it will help businesses to be able to carry forward losses for a longer period of 10 years," she said.
In particular, she said the government should take into account the current headwinds' impact on small and medium enterprises or SMEs, which are now struggling to survive, when looking at how to help the business community. Measures to be introduced should cover the ability of businesses to operate their business in a controlled environment and allow the businesses a further tax deduction on key expenditure such as salary, purchase of equipment and utility payments, she said.
"As an example, Singapore recently announced short-term measures to help ease cash-flows for businesses. One measure includes the granting of an income tax rebate of 25% of tax payable capped at S$15,000 for the year of assessment 2020. It should also be noted that it is important for SMEs to be able to conserve cash to survive during this challenging time and also the chain impact for the industry and businesses," she added.
She further called for the granting of personal tax relief to individuals who incur costs in buying disposable personal protective equipment for their own or their families' consumption.
“Personal tax relief on interest costs for house loans can also be introduced for a period of time (for example from March 18, 2020 to Dec 31, 2020) to ease the burden of individuals who are mostly impacted by the current situation,” she said.