GST likely in 2015
At least a year’ needed for businesses to make adjustments, says PwC
Friday, June 07, 2013 - 15:57
“Assuming the decision is made by the government to pass the GST bill in the third or fourth quarter, its tax review panel has always maintained it will only allow a maximum of 18 months for businesses to prepare for the new taxes.
Which means that you are looking at somewhere in April 2015 for GST to start.” On concerns raised whether local businesses can adjust, given the 18 month-period may be reduced to 12-15 months, he said: “There are precedents for cases in which GST were implemented in less than 18 months. For example, Australia did it in 14 months while Singapore in 15 months.”
Wan said that as far as the law is concerned, the GST has already been tabled in 2007 and then withdrawn for amendments. However, it is now ready to be put before the parliament for its second reading and adoption.
He noted that the government has already undertaken various awareness programmes such as the introduction of an online portal for GST registration, which have been tested with positive results.
“GST guides were announced by the Customs Department and discussion sessions have been done for the last few years along with courses for tax agents in conjunction with Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia and Malaysian Institute of Accountants to spread the word.”
While the exact timing for GST charges to kick in has yet to be announced, PwC executive director R.S. Raja Kumaran said: “The government should not implement it early in the year as it be around festive seasons and the start of the school term.”