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Tax number will help eliminate tax evasion, says economist

Last update: 09/11/2019
Exclusive report by Siti Radziah Hamzah

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 -- The Tax Identification Number (TIN) introduced recently in Budget 2020 will help to eliminate tax evasion, said economic adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid today.

Speaking at a forum, he said last year, the government introduced the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme that had ended in September, with 450,000 notices sent to 250,000 individuals who did not voluntarily declare their income.

"If you do not report, the government will penalise you up to 300 per cent. It is the first strategy to make sure that everybody is in the net. The second strategy, the government announced that individuals above 18 years old will get a Tax Identification Number.

"Once you are in the net, you buy properties, do any financial transactions, you report your Tax Identification Number so we can trace where you get the money from. To evade tax will be very difficult," he said.

Muhammed was answering a question from the floor on tax evasion by the rich at the Youth Economic Forum 2019 at a session titled “The Economic Agenda: Mind The Gap: Shifting Towards Shared Prosperity” here today.

Muhammed said cutting taxes would never stimulate the economy.

“People say cutting tax is good. That is rubbish. Cutting tax never stimulates the economy. it depends who you cut and for what,” he pointed out.

The session was part of the one-day forum organised by the Perdana Fellow Alumni Association.

In the Budget 2020 announced last month, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysians above the age of 18, as well as corporate entities, will be assigned a Tax Identification Number (TIN), which is expected to be rolled out beginning in January 2021.

Lim said engagement sessions with all stakeholders will commence next year in order to implement the initiative.


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