Finance minister: RM7.9b paid in GST, IRB refunds

Lim said the repayments started in January, with a total of RM3.9 billion in income tax refunded up to February 28. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Lim said the repayments started in January, with a total of RM3.9 billion in income tax refunded up to February 28. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — The government has returned a total of RM7.9 billion of the outstanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Inland Revenue Board (IRB) owed payers, Lim Guan Eng told Parliament today.

The finance minister said the repayments were made after it received the RM8 billion special dividend from national oil company Petronas, as part of the total RM30 billion promised.

“This special dividend is one-off and this is already being paid to the government on an installment basis,” he said during Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat.

Lim said the repayments started in January; up to February 28, a total of RM3.9 billion in income tax has been refunded to 38,104 companies and 37,672 non-corporates.

The remaining RM4 billion was used by the Customs Department to refund 54,603 GST payers, the minister added.

In December last year, following the release of the Auditor-General’s Report Series II, it was reported that the total amount of arrears for GST refunds stood at RM19.55 billion instead of RM19.47 billion.

In August, Lim pledged Putrajaya’s commitment to returning GST refunds by this year, which were said to have been improperly or even illegally withheld by the former Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

Similarly, national oil and gas conglomerate Petronas Bhd will pay a one-off RM30 billion special dividend this year, to help settle the RM37 billion outstanding tax refunds which included income tax and GST refunds.