SHAH ALAM, Oct 3 — The Customs Department said it is planning to introduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) “ambassadors” to help small businesses follow the correct procedures in paying the consumption tax.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy said the ambassadors would be knowledgeable customs officers who will be assigned to respective chambers of commerce to assist businessmen in sorting out their GST claims.
“They do filing but it is incorrect filing. Sometimes what is happening is smaller businesses when due date comes they haven’t finalise their account. They simply declare whatever.
“This is where we like to help them. There are other technical issues. Sometimes small ones can’t afford to go consultants or what. We will give free advice,” he said in a press conference today.
Subromaniam added that a ballpark figure of almost RM1 billion can be collected from these small businesses if they settle their GST payments.
“Our aspiration is through this GST, collections will increase. We also hope we can get an additional RM1 billion via this special exercise in the last three months.
“This programme ends on Dec 31 this year. We will see its effectiveness and the management will decide if [it] wants to continue,” he said.
He also said that Customs will be giving leeway for these businesses till January 1 next year, after which they would take a more “aggressive” approach via “enforced compliance”.
Subromaniam explained that if they pursued with enforced compliance, it would affect the department’s budget.
“We don’t want to take it to enforced compliance. One of the issue is it is also costly to us. It is costly to taxpayers. But as last resort, those who are stubborn, wait and see,” he said.