Frankly Speaking: Government should help ease transition to SST

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on August 27, 2018 - September 02, 2018.
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Come Sept 1, the new Sales and Services Tax (SST) regime will kick in, marking the end of the tax holiday following the zero-rating of the Goods and Services Tax on June 1.

The relevant bills to usher in the new SST regime, dubbed SST 2.0, were passed in parliament and the Dewan Negara in August.

Of course, consumers and businesses are no strangers to the SST that was replaced by the GST rollout back in 2014.

But indications are that there will be differences from the old system. For starters, SST returns will now have to be filed electronically instead of a manual system like before.

It is also important to note that the exact mechanism is still not yet fully known mere days before the new SST regime takes effect this coming weekend.

This will create unnecessary uncertainty as any transition can only happen smoothly once all the required information is at hand.

Various business associations and industry players have voiced their concerns as the short time left between now and the implementation of SST 2.0 will likely cause much confusion, delays and errors that could even lead to penalties being imposed on them.

The government should be cognisant of this issue and make clear what steps, if any, will be taken to ease the transition further.

Otherwise, taxpayers may be in for a needlessly bumpy ride come Sept 1 as SST 2.0 kicks in.

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