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Friday, November 15, 2013

GST – Goods and services tax or government service tax?

Posted on November 15, 2013, Friday

Wan Ahmad Uzir
Wan Sulaiman
KUCHING: Does GST stand for goods and services tax or government service tax?

Now that the new tax system – goods and services tax has yet to be implemented, the GST consumers see in the
market should refer to government service tax.

This clarification came from state Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman, who said no trader was allowed to collect goods and services tax since the implementation had been scheduled for 2015.

“Therefore, the GST people see should be government service tax, and not goods and services tax,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

Uzir said consumers could lodge a complaint with the department if they were asked to pay goods and services tax.

“The GST is probably government service tax. However, I cannot be too certain. As GST is not implemented yet, people can let us know if they are asked to pay before implementation,” he stated.

He was responding to a consumer, who said he was rather surprised to see a six per cent GST being imposed on desserts.

Requesting anonymity, the consumer said he spotted GST on the price tags at an outlet while shopping at a mall near here recently.

He said the government would implement GST only a year or so later and wondered why he had to pay for it then.

“To say I was surprised is an understatement. And I would not be too shocked if other consumers did not pay attention to those price tags, which say plus six per cent GST.

“Or people would not mind paying GST now? I do not know.

“To me, it is confusing since the government made it clear GST would start some time in 2015,” he said.

Then and there, he decided not to purchase any dessert. Neither did he ask the shop owner why consumers had to pay GST.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced when tabling Budget 2014 on Oct 25 that the GST would be implemented starting April 1, 2015.

The new tax system will replace the current 10 per cent sales tax and six per cent service tax.

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