Customs calls for halt of handwritten receipts after September 30

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(Apr 15): Traders and small businesses will not be able to issue handwritten receipts or invoices after September 30, the Customs Department said, in compliance with the goods and services tax (GST) standard, The Star reported today.

These businesses, the department said, must have a point-of-sales (POS) system to issue invoices that were printed and numbered.

Customs Department GST division director Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy said that after September 30, entertainment outlets such as pubs and karaoke joints, pharmacies, bookshops, grocery and sundry stores, hardware shops and mini markets would not be able to issue handwritten receipts.

This also includes businesses that have frequent sales but are small in value.

“We are not imposing it on others such as contractors and air-conditioner repairmen, for example. They can still issue the normal receipts,” he was quoted as saying.

“But we are worried about grocery stores, sundry shops, mini markets, pharmacies, and hardware and book shops.

“They must have a POS system or at least a GST-compliant cash register."

Customs had initially set April 30 as the deadline for traders and businesses to configure their POS system and issue receipts that are printed in series.

Subramaniam, however, said that the department had received a barrage of complaints from customers who were issued handwritten receipts following the implementation of the GST on April 1.

The decision to give an extension was made also because suppliers of the GST-compliant cash register and POS system had doubled and tripled their prices.

“We have to be fair to the businesses, but we also need to drive home the message that the money paid by consumers is going into the government’s coffers," he said, adding that consumers were generally amiable to paying taxes as long as they knew the money was being channelled to the government.

“When consumers see businesses issuing handwritten bills, they are not confident that the tax is paid to the government and believe it could be abused."

He also reminded businesses not to make a fuss about investing in the new system as it only costs RM2,000 to RM5,000 and the purchase was tax deductible.

Subramaniam, however, said the department had yet to come up with a penalty for businesses that fail to issue printed receipts, adding that they were looking into enhancing GST regulations.

"For now, we are giving them time to get adjusted to it,” he was quoted as saying, adding that notices and emails on the matter would be sent out to businesses soon. – The Malaysian Insider