How to File Income Tax For Your Side Business

Do you have a burgeoning side income but are unsure of how to declare or pay taxes for it? Here’s your guide to managing taxes of a small business project.

Your income isn’t just what’s on your payslip. It’s also however much you’ve made in profit from your own efforts. This is important to remember in tax season, especially if you have a form of side income that’s not related to your monthly salary. This includes work done part-time, or in a freelance capacity.

Which Form Should You Use For This?

Depending on the kind of side gigs you do, you might still be able to record your side income earnings on your BE form (for those who do not carry a business) under the ‘Other Gains or Profit’ section (B3). However, the type of income covered here is limited to “payments received for part-time or occasional broadcasting, lecturing, writing and so forth.”

If your annual earnings are substantial enough (roughly RM34k and above) for you to pay taxes on it, it might be worthwhile to register your work as a business.

Registering a Business

It’s a simple processwhere you can have your business licence in your hand a mere hour after payment has been made.

The easiest type of company to register is a sole proprietorship which only costs RM30 if you use your own name (as per your Identification Card). If you choose to use a trade name or have a partner that you’d like to register your business with then the fee will be RM60. If you’re still unsure which type of business you should register as, we recommend checking out our article on the different types of business entities in Malaysia.

Once you’ve registered your side business, it will be recorded on Form B (the same form you have to use when filing your taxes) for individuals who are carrying on business activities. Both your employment and business income can be captured on this form. In this form, you’ll be able to claim for business expensesthat you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to without registering your business. For instance, you may offset expenses such as interests on a business loan and repairs on vehicles used for business purposes. All of which you cannot do without registering as a business beforehand.

What is the Nature of Your Side Business?

We’ve recently gained some clarity on e-commerce businesses and how it should be taxed and filed. Thus, if your side business has to do with blogging, having an online store, affiliate marketing and just about anything where you derive income from an online source, you will need to pay taxes with respect to e-commerce guidelines.

Here is some tax information you’ll find helpful:

  1. As a business owner (and individual), you must register an income tax file.
  2. You must also retain documents like your statements from payment gateways, invoices and purchase receipts, income statement from ad companies (if you’re involved with affiliate marketing) and sales confirmations, etc. in good condition for 7 years.
  3. You may claim for web maintenance fees, domain renewal, web consultant fees, internet fees and equipment, server rental as well as utilities and etc.
  4. You are not allowed to claim for personal, domestic utilities like your water bill, for example.

What You Should Never Do When It Comes to Your Side Business

While it’s tempting to not want to declare your side income or to downplay your revenues, you can incur the wrath of the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysiaif you are found out. Think of hefty fines (up to RM20, 000), imprisonment and being barred from leaving the country. So it’s best to be upfront about your taxes, however, staying out of trouble with the authorities isn’t your only incentive to fully declare income.

In fact, showing healthy earnings and responsible tax payments is proof of your creditworthiness. But even as banks differ with credit-granting criteria, this might help you obtain better credit rates, access to more credit and improved chances for loan approvals.

Want to know more about how to earn extra on the side? Check out our article on The Best Ways to Make Money From Home. Don’t be shy to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section down below!

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