by Antonia Chiam, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on February 22, 2014, Saturday
|Noelle speaking about how GST will affect consumers, to a packed auditorium.|
KUCHING: The upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not an additional tax but a replacement of the existing Sales Tax and Service Tax, reminded Customs senior assistant director Noelle Lily Morse.
“The GST, which will be implemented on April 1, 2015, is going to replace two existing indirect taxes, namely the Sales Tax and Service Tax. It is not an additional tax to what we are currently paying but will replace those two taxes.
“The existing Sales Tax and Service Tax have their own weaknesses. They are considered as unfair tax systems as only selected goods and services are taxed, with different rates and thresholds.
“The GST will address all the weaknesses in the two tax systems,” she said in her public talk on GST at the State Library yesterday.
Noelle pointed out that the implementation of GST is not a sudden one but has been planned over many years.
“It is something that is 30 years in the making. We have ample time to prepare for GST, as the government studied the feasibility of implementing it over several years,” she said.
During her talk she provided an overview of GST and how it affects consumers specifically.
The two-hour talk attracted a huge crowd that filled up the auditorium. It was aimed at introducing what GST is all about to members of the public and how it will be implemented.
GST is a consumption tax levied on goods and services at all levels of businesses, where the consumers are taxed only when they spend. It is aimed to streamline the country’s tax system to be more effective, transparent and business-friendly.
It is found to be a better and fairer tax system compared to the existing Sales Tax and Service Tax. The GST rate will be six per cent.
For socio-economic benefits, certain goods and services are not subjected to GST, namely basic groceries such as rice, flour, sugar and cooking oil; purchase and rental of residential buildings; sales and purchase of agricultural lands; education; public transportation and healthcare services.