Survey: Malaysians want govt to recover taxes lost to shadow economy

Green Zebras’ perception on tax poll covered Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak and was nationally representative of the overall population by location, gender, race and age. — Reuters pic
Green Zebras’ perception on tax poll covered Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak and was nationally representative of the overall population by location, gender, race and age. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — The majority of Malaysians want the government to recover the tax revenue that is lost to the shadow economy or black market in order to protect jobs and facilitate economic recovery following the Covid-19 crisis, according to the results of a survey.

Boutique market research firm Green Zebras Sdn Bhd, which conducted the online poll this month, found 83 per cent of the respondents wanted the government to do this.

Managing director and co-founder Steve Murphy said most respondents (78 per cent) also concurred that black market activities were a threat to jobs and hampered business performance. 

“As Malaysians are currently filing their personal income tax in time for the June 30 deadline, job security and economic growth are their top-of-mind concerns. Malaysians want the government to have enough money to fund economic recovery and safeguard their jobs,” he said in a statement today.

He added that 45 per cent if the respondents were “not very or at all” secure of their jobs in the current situation.

Green Zebras’ perception on tax poll covered Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak and was nationally representative of the overall population by location, gender, race and age.

Murphy said when Green Zebras asked how survey participants felt about their taxes, 11 per cent said it was much too high and 35 per cent said it was a little high. A similar poll conducted by Green Zebras last year had found that a much larger proportion of Malaysians had felt that their taxes were too high prior to the Covid-19 crisis.  

“When we make a year-on-year comparison, we can surmise that Malaysians are today more willing and eager to pay taxes compared to last year. This is likely due to the impact of the global pandemic and the understanding that taxpayers must do their part to help the country recover.

“Nevertheless, taxpayers do not want to shoulder the revenue burden alone. They want the government to bolster revenue at the expense of black-market activities like the illicit cigarettes trade, which cost the government more than RM5 billion in total each year,” he said.

Meanwhile, the majority (70 per cent) of the population felt that the government was generally doing a good job to help Malaysia and Malaysians so far during this crisis, he added. — Bernama

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