Tax evaders will have a harder time getting away next year with the new task force by the Inland Revenue Board Malaysia (IRBM).
The IRBM will launch operations to nab tax evaders as well as improve tax compliance.
The operations will begin on January 1, 2017 with a task force comprising 272 intelligence officers and tax investigators, says Inland Revenue Board (IRB) chief executive officer Datuk Sabin Samitah.
The task force aims to collect some RM2 billion in 2017.
The industries that are facing tax compliance issues are jewellery and pawn-broking companies, licensed money lenders, online and medical businesses, and businesses with Approved Permits (AP) except companies which import vehicles into Malaysia.
On top of that, the task force will also focus on investigating smuggling activities.
“Starting next year, a full tax audit will be conducted for all cases. It will no longer be a focused audit.
“There are weaknesses to the focused audit that we have carried out for several years when it comes to increasing tax compliance among taxpayers.
“We have agreed to conduct a full audit for all the cases that we need to audit,” Sabin told The Stars.
Currently, tax defaulters are barred from leaving the country but moving forward the consequences may be much harsher.
IRBM and Bank Negara Malaysia are also in talks to list tax defaulters and those who delay their tax payments on purpose in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS).
“We don’t want to simply list the names of tax defaulters in the CCRIS because they will face problems in running their business.
Once someone’s name is listed in the CCRIS, they are unable to borrow from finance companies or banks.”
When asked if listing defaulters in CCRIS may be too harsh, Sabin said ample time would be given to the defaulters to clear his tax returns by instalments before the move to list them in CCRIS.
Multinational companies are not excluded from the operations as well. The task force will also audit companies that were found to have transferred their profits to other countries with lower tax regimes even though their profits were made in Malaysia.
Sabin shared a recent case where a group of companies owed RM40 million in tax and penalties using this method. The group was given four months to settle the amount.
This year, the IRBM had collected more than RM100 billion in taxes and the Government’s target next year was RM127 billion, said Sabin, adding that the target was achievable with the country’s economic size of more than RM1.2 trillion.