KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — RM17.1 billion out of RM37 billion in Goods and Services Tax (GST) and income tax refunds has been returned to taxpayers as of April 30.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the one-off RM30 billion special dividend from Petronas, which he announced in the 2019 Budget speech in November last year, has already begun to be paid by the government in stages.
“The repayment of tax refunds to the taxpayers has commenced since January. From the start of the year until 30 April, RM16 billion of special dividend has been received from Petronas while a total of RM17.1 billion has been refunded to GST and income taxpayers,” he said in a statement.
Of the GST refunds, RM9.5 billion has been returned by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to 76,002 registrants, while for income tax refunds the Inland Revenue Board has returned RM5.2 billion and RM2.4 billion to 70,205 companies and 1,186,288 non-companies, respectively.
Lim branded the six years’ worth of tax refund arrears, amounting to RM37 billion, as a failure on the part of the previous administration.
“As announced last year, the arrears in GST and income tax refunds involve 121,429 GST registrants and 1,653,786 companies, individuals, societies and foundations' taxpayers respectively, as of May 31, 2018.
“The repayment of these tax refunds demonstrates that the Pakatan Harapan government did not misappropriate the special dividend from Petronas and is sincere in fulfilling our promise to return the tax refunds to the Malaysian people and companies,” he said, adding the tax funds’ repayment is expected to generate a positive impact for Malaysian businesses and contribute towards economic growth.