Deadline around the corner

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PETALING JAYA: It is just about a week till the June 30 deadline to file your tax returns. And as you well know, time flies!

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With many caught focusing on other matters during the recovery movement control order (MCO) period, there is a risk that many might have overlooked the extended deadline granted for filing tax returns.

The deadline for tax returns has always been April 30 (manual) and May 15 (e-filing).

This year, the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) extended the deadline to June 30 due to the MCO enforced on March 18.

According to the LHDN, the decision to extend the deadline was made after considering the constraints faced by taxpayers to submit income tax return forms.

However, it had reminded taxpayers not to wait until the last minute to file their tax returns.

Harvey & Associates tax partner Harvinder Singh said the extended period was very helpful as it ensured taxpayers and tax agents did not face a late filing penalty.

He said there could be many taxpayers that find it difficult to pay up the outstanding tax that was not covered by monthly tax deductions due to being laid off or having salaries cut during the MCO period.

“It is probably a good idea to negotiate with the LHDN for an installment scheme to avoid late payment penalties,” he said yesterday.

Real estate agent Jimmy Chong, 28, said he was lucky to have filed his tax returns in May as he was retrenched after that.

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He said he got his tax refund promptly and managed to pay his rent on time.“Luckily, I filed my tax returns earlier; otherwise, I would be behind in the rent. I was nearly evicted. I would have been a homeless real estate agent,” he added.

Lawyer Siti Izzati, 30, who filed her tax returns in May, advised Malaysians not to file their tax returns at the 11th hour.

“Because some of the items that are claimable require specific information and that may take time to tabulate. So, do it earlier,” she added.

Self-employed Athira Yusof, 27, said she filed her tax return early and had also got a refund.

“I filed my taxes mid-March and didn’t think much of it until I received an email from the LHDN in the first week of April indicating that I overpaid my taxes,” she added.Ellie Tan, a tax consultant, said Malaysians should take note that deductions of up to 7% could be made on aggregate income for donations, gifts or contributions that fall under various categories set by the LHDN.

These include donations to approved institutions/organisations/funds, approved sporting activities, local authorities and approved healthcare facilities. Tan said Malaysians should take note that deductions could also be made on purchases of sports equipment for activities defined under the Sports Development Act 1997, as well as gym membership payment.

“Remember to check the definition for sports equipment because they specifically mentioned footballs, shuttlecocks, nets, martial arts weapons, racquets and such. Jerseys and football boots are not included,” she added.

The penalty for late filing is 10% on the balance of unpaid taxes after the June 30 deadline. If the income tax and penalty are not paid within 60 days, another penalty of 5% will be imposed on the amount owed.

Under the Income Tax Act 1967, failure (without reasonable excuse) to furnish income tax returns will result in a fine between RM200 and RM20,000, or jailtime of not exceeding six months, or both.

Taxpayers can submit their returns on forms available in the LHDN online platform ezHASIL at http://ez.hasil.gov.my/CI/ or by downloading the forms at its official website www.hasil.gov.my.Taxpayers can also get in touch with LHDN via the Hasil Care Line at 03-8911 1000 or 603-8911 1100 (overseas).

-The Star

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