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Media needed to convey importance of tax payment

Sabin (third right) presenting a certificate to New Sabah Times Bahasa Melayu Chief Editor Mohd Amin Hj Muin ( left).

14th March, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Professional media practitioners play huge roles in executing the responsibility of shedding light upon the importance of paying tax among the people.

Chief Executive Officer of Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDNM) Dato’ Seri Sabin Samitah said without the continuous support by the media, latest tax information may not be disseminated which will in turn lead to losses to all parties.

“More importantly, the (public’s) responsibility to report and pay taxes may not be conveyed efficiently, causing great loss to all parties.

He recalled LHDN’s downfall in direct tax collection for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016 which led to the reconstruction of strategy and focus to ensure the organization remained on the right track.

He stated that the strengthening of core tax activities and organizational management were prioritized to generate success in every implementation which resulted in RM9 billion or 8.5 per cent increase of direct tax collection in 2017.

On the state level, he said, Sabah recorded a 15.5 per cent increase compared to the collection in 2016.

“It is undeniable that the success was due to Malaysia’s impressive economic growth in 2017 with KDNK (gross domestic product) growth of 5.6 per cent by the end of the year, exceeding the World Bank’s initial forecast of 4.2 per cent.”

This, he said, subsequently brought huge impact to the national revenue collection.

“Apart from economic factor, it was also supported by the public’s acceptance and recognition on the importance of paying tax and of course, contributions from media practitioners were of huge significance in fostering this awareness.”

He was speaking during ‘Majlis Mesra LHDNM bersama Media Negeri Sabah’ here yesterday which were attended by local and national media practitioners.

Certificates of appreciation were also given to representatives from each media agency as a symbol of gratitude to the agencies in the state.

The engagement programme between LHDN and the media was the first in Sabah held to appreciate the untiring efforts of disseminating tax information through various media channels.

Sabin stated that despite being on newspapers almost every week, it was a strategy to elevate the rate of compliance among taxpayers rather than to gain popularity, which had been proved to be the right move.

“We received responses from media practitioners in the Peninsula where each operation or education programmes displayed on newspapers had impacted tax payments whether among big or multinational companies.”

He added that the success would push them towards reaching this year’s collection target set by the government at RM134.7 billion.

However, he said, in spite of LHDN success stories, there had also been reports questioning actions taken by the organization in enforcing tax laws.

To this, he underlined that any actions taken were based on taxpayers’ condition; whether they are from big or small companies, those who refuse to pay tax or submit their documents would receive actions.

He stated that LHDN is not allowed to publicize audited or investigated taxpayers as stipulated in Section 138 of the Income Tax Act 1967 but noted that there were taxpayers who reveal actions taken upon them.

“We take actions on those who do not pay taxes in order to provide justice for those who do; people pay taxes according to the set rules and amounts so it is only fair that those who do business also pay their taxes.”

Also present were LHDNM Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mahmood Daud, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Compliance) Abdul Manap Dim and Sabah LHDNM director Suhaili Sudin.

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