SEPANG: The Customs Department could not proceed with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) claims estimated to exceed RM36 million made by 12 local authorities (PBTs) in Selangor because of doubts in the returns submitted. Denying that the Customs Department deliberately did not want to pay the GST claims, Customs director-general Datuk Seri T.Subromaniam said the Customs acted against the claims after finding that the 12 PBTs failed to fully account for the GST for taxable supplies.
The PBTs were also found claiming for items not eligible for claims such as claiming for passenger vehicles for PBT’s use categorised as ‘block input tax’ which was not permitted by law even if GST was charged upon purchase, he said. Subromaniam explained under the provision of the law, the department reserves the right to withhold payment of any claims if there are any doubts or doubtful statements in the declaration forms submitted. “It is true that the Customs did not pay the amount stated but it is not a debt. Instead it was held back because there were doubts on the claims made, which were baseless and some claims were not valid or eligible,” he said when commenting on allegations made by Balakong state assemblyman Ng Tien Chee that Customs owes more than RM36 million in GST claims to 12 local authorities from September 2016 to June.
Speaking at a press conference in conjunction with a friendly gathering with the media at Lapang Sasar AVSEC here today, Subromaniam said they also did not get the cooperation of the local authorities involved when contacted for additional information in relation to the claims. He said upon conviction, that person (PBT) would be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000.00 and/or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years for submitting incorrect returns under Section 88 of the GST Act 2014. He regretted the baseless allegation that the the Customs owed the PBTs, thereby inviting a negative perception about the department. “We are prepared to resolve this matter amicably and all the local authorities are given three months to submit the information needed before further action is taken,” he said.