KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today the federal government has managed to repay outstanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds amounting to RM15.9 billion to more than 78,000 companies as of end-September this year.
Lim, who tabled the Supply Bill (Budget) 2020 in Parliament earlier, also said income tax refunds amounting to RM13.6 billion have been returned to 448,000 companies and 184,000 taxpayers.
“The Pakatan Harapan government has fulfilled its promise to the rakyat to refund a significant portion of the RM37 billion of the taxes which were unjustly withheld from them for the past five years by the previous regime,” he said.
Previously, the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) summary in July showed a RM19.25 billion shortfall in the fund for GST refunds because the previous administration had used the GST collections to finance its operating and development expenditures.
PAC chairman Datuk Noraini Ahmad had said in a statement at the time that it had found that the previous government did not abide by the legal provisions to allocate the refund payments to the appropriate account.
Instead, it placed the funds in a Consolidated Account and only transferred them to the refund pool as and when needed.
Other findings by the PAC also revealed that the previous government failed to transfer adequate funds to the GST refund pool and only returned 35 per cent of annual revenue when it should have set aside 42 per cent.