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Thursday, November 14, 2013

GST Bill likely ready by year-end

Posted on 13 November 2013 - 05:40am
Eva Yeong

PETALING JAYA (Nov 13, 2013): The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill will be ready by year-end or early 2014, with relatively few changes from that tabled in 2009, said Finance Ministry GST Implementation Office tax advisor Datuk Kamariah Hussain.

She said the Royal Malaysian Customs Department's computer system is ready for GST implementation and will go live by year-end.

"We ran a pilot programme in 2012 and early 2013 where 200 companies were involved. It was a success and end of this year, we will do another dry run. The GST processing centre in Kelana Jaya (Selangor) is ready," she said during a panel discussion entitled "GST: A boon or bane?" at Deloitte TaxMax 2013 seminar yesterday.

She also said that 76 industry guides will be issued by year-end. To date, about 30 guides have been uploaded on the Customs Department website.

Kamariah said it is also in the process of training customs officers on the ground in preparation for GST implementation.

"Customs officers should be ready for everything by the middle of next year," she added.

The GST, which will be implemented in April 2015, may lead to a hike in house prices of 3% to 4%, said Deloitte Malaysia country tax leader Yee Wing Peng.

"Whatever GST the developer incurred cannot be passed on to the house buyers, thus they would impute the cost into the selling price," he said at the seminar.

"As a result, the price of houses will increase by 3% to 4%. We would have to deal with the impact caused by GST not just on the property sector, but across the board. Most of the goods and services will also see price hikes," he added.

However, Yee sees any increase in house prices will not exceed 6% as developers' margins should not have any GST element.

"So it's only the cost like labour and building materials where there's input tax borne by the developer which cannot be passed on to buyers," he said.

He believes that a way to deal with the increase is by providing GST rebates or financial assistance such as those offered to developers who build affordable homes.

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