Banks to collect GST for transactions, bill payments

Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM) executive director Chua Mei Lin, the GST will also be imposed for online banking and over-the-counter transactions. ― File pic
Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM) executive director Chua Mei Lin, the GST will also be imposed for online banking and over-the-counter transactions. ― File pic

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PETALING JAYA, March 19 — The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be imposed not only for MEPS transactions but also for online banking and over-the-counter transactions.

Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM) executive director Chua Mei Lin said GST would be payable in respect of a basic charge or fixed fee in connection with commercial banking products and services.

“Commercial banks will collect the GST for and on behalf of the Royal Malaysian Customs. More importantly, interest or spreads charged by commercial banks are not subjected to GST,” she said.

Chua said the fee charged by banks for online interbank Giro fund transfers, including bill payment, would be subjected to GST.

“ABM member banks will publish their list of fees and charges and GST details, including whether GST is payable or not for those charges,” she said.

Customs director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad confirmed that online banking would also be subjected to GST.

“If there is a bank charge or fee, then GST will be imposed on those charges. The six per cent GST charge will not be for the transaction amount but for the bank charges,” he said.

Many will feel the pinch as the GST charges will affect at least 17.6 million online banking users, both corporate and individual users.

According to Bank Negara, most online banking subscribers undertake funds transfers, bill payments and salary payments.

Some over-the-counter transactions, including bill payments at Pos Malaysia counters, will also be subjected to GST.

Pos Malaysia said service fees collected on behalf of billing agencies would incur GST.

“The GST is only the service fee and not the bill amount.

“For example, if the bill is RM100 and the service fee is RM1, the customer has to pay RM101.06 after GST,” it said.

However, in most cases, the service fee is absorbed by the billing agencies.

“Hence, the billing agencies will also absorb the GST payment and the customer need not pay anything beyond the bill amount.”

The uncertainty over banking and post office charges arose after a picture of an ATM receipt from a commercial bank went viral on social media. It was claimed that GST charges would be imposed automatically on the amount withdrawn from ATMs.

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