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188,596 companies already registered: Malaysian Customs sets Dec 31 as deadline for GST registration

188,596 companies already registered: Malaysian Customs sets Dec 31 as deadline for GST registration

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak first announced the introduction of the GST in October Budget 2014. Since then, the government has been putting in place the legislation to facilitate the transition to the GST regime.

Royal Malaysian Customs Department has set December 31, 2014 last date for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration for all those companies or businesses whose  annual sales turnover was more than RM500,000.

After the announcement of the registration of the GST business owners are rushing to register their businesses with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

To date some 188,596 companies, out of the estimated 300,000 eligible for GST registration, have registered with the department, surpassing the government’s target of 140,000 companies by end-December.

The high numbers are a good testament of the government’s untiring efforts to educate business owners and the people of the relevance and importance of implementing the GST in Malaysia.

Those who fail to comply can be fined up to RM20,000. A late registration penalty of a minimum of RM1,500 and a maximum RM20,000 will be imposed after 30 days of the implementation of GST on April 1, 2015.

Business owners with less than RM500,000 in annual sales turnover can voluntarily register their companies, but they will have to keep their businesses registered for a minimum of two years.

Registration can be done online at gst.customs.gov.my or by manually submitting the relevant forms to the Customs Department’s office in Kelana Jaya, Selangor.

The GST is a consumption based tax charged on all taxable supply of goods and it will replace the existing Sales and Service Tax. A few groups, namely basic food items like rice and flour; public transportation; and healthcare and  education, have been classified as zero-rated and, as such, exempted from the GST.

To date, the Finance Ministry has conducted a total of 620 briefing sessions on the GST to help Malaysians understand the basic mechanics of the tax and how it works, as well as its implications.