How To File Your Taxes For The First Time

by Pang Tun Yau

Income Tax

They say that in life, you can’t run away from two things: death and taxes. In Malaysia, income tax is compulsory by law, and the income tax you pay differ based on your total taxable income for the year. If you’ve just entered the workforce, and have absolutely no idea how all this works, here’s a handy guide on how to file your taxes for the first time.

Before we begin, you should first determine if you are eligible as a taxpayer. According to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) of Malaysia, a Malaysian individual must register a tax file if they earn an annual employment income of RM34,000 (after EPF deduction).

If your annual employment income is above that figure, you will need to do two things: register yourself as a taxpayer to the IRB, and then register for e-Filing, which is the IRB’s online income tax filing platform. There are a few stages to this process, which we will delve into below.

1. Use e-Daftar and register as a taxpayer online

Previously, you’d have to go to an IRB office and register as a taxpayer, bringing along a copy of your IC and latest salary slip. But thanks to the IRB’s e-Daftar feature, you can do this process online. (You can still go to the IRB office to do this, of course). Do note that you'll need a digital copy of your IC to be uploaded.

Fill up the online registration form as below by clicking on "borang pendaftaran online", which is quite extensive as it requires all the necessary information about yourself as well as your current employer.

From there, you will need to wait up to a week before the IRB processes and approves your application.

2. Head to IRB and get a PIN for e-Filing registration

Once your application has been approved, you now need to register for e-Filing. You’ll need a PIN number for first-time login for this, and unfortunately, for this you need to physically head over to the nearest IRB office. Once you have the PIN, head on to the e-Filing website and click on "Login Kali Pertama".

3. Login to e-Filing and complete first-time login

There’ll be a text box to enter your PIN number and your IC number, and upon login, you’ll need to fill a form with details such as full name, address, phone number, and also a password for future logins. After this, you’ll need to verify that your name, IC number, and income tax number listed in the system is correct, and click "Hantar".

Note also that you will need to enter a password to log in to e-Filing. The PIN number is a single-use code only, and is meant for first-time logins - subsequent logins will require a password that users set.

Notice also that you will be required to key in a security phrase. You can keep this empty for now - the system will prompt you with clearer instructions later.

4. Login to e-Filing again

Once you complete the steps above, you should log in again to e-Filing and set up a security phrase. This is a secondary layer of security, designed to prevent unauthorised access. Like before, log in with your IC number, and instead of your PIN, use your freshly-created password. A pop-up message will inform you that you have not yet set up your security phrase. 

This phrase will appear the next time you log in after you key in your IC number. This is similar to online banking sites that show a security phrase and/or an image that the user previously selected. For e-Filing, the security phrase must adhere to the following rules:

- between 8-15 characters
- alphanumeric characters only; no symbols or special characters are permitted.

In addition, users are advised not to use their name or IC number as their security phrase.

This is an important security layer, so the e-Filing platform will not allow you to log out or proceed until you have set up your security phrase. Once that is sorted out, proceed to log out and log in again - you'll be able to see your security phrase now.

5. File your taxes

Congratulations! You’ve successfully registered as a taxpayer, created an account for e-Filing and completed the first-time login procedures. Now, it’s time to file your taxes and (hopefully) get some tax refund. We’ll help you with a step-by-step guide for this too, so stay tuned!

More on Malaysia income tax 2019

Find more income tax related content in our Income Tax page.