Things That Might Seem Tax Deductible but Actually Are Not

Occasionally, you may have a few questions on certain items that may confuse you whether it is tax deductible. In this article, we will address some of these confusions.

Income tax season is just around the corner! As people continue to collect the necessary documents for tax reliefs, there are some questions on whether certain items are tax deductible.

In this article, we will be clearing some confusion on which items that may seem tax deductible but in reality are not.

Hybrid Computer

Last year, LHDN introduced the lifestyle section which provides tax reliefs for items like newspapers, journals and magazine (both print and electronics) as well as personal computers, tablets and smartphones. However, one of the few items that are not tax deductible is the hybrid computer/laptop.

Hybrid computers in this regard refer to devices that possess attributes of a personal computer and a tablet with the use of a convertible / detachable keyboard and touchscreen. Some examples of these hybrid computers include Microsoft Surface, Windows 8 Hybrid Laptop etc.

Taxpayers cannot claim tax reliefs for hybrid computers by placing it under personal computers as LHDN considers hybrid computers as a separate categories of devices.

Electronic Dictionary

Another electronic device that is not tax deductible is the electronic dictionary, an electronic device that primarily functions as a dictionary. Like the aforementioned hybrid computer, electronic dictionaries are considered as a separate category of devices.

Thus, if you’re looking to maximise your tax reliefs and you’re still deciding whether to buy an electronic dictionary or one of its alternatives, it is advisable to go with the latter (dictionary apps, online dictionaries or a physical dictionary).

Sports Attire

This part has been a point of confusion and contention when it comes to claiming tax relief for sports equipment. LHDN states in the Income Tax Act that the tax relief for sports equipment is only eligible for those used in sporting activities defined in the Sports Development Act 1997.

This means equipment like footballs, shuttlecocks, nets, rackets, martial arts weapons, fencing swords, electronic scoreboards etc. can be considered as sports equipment. Whereas jerseys and football boots are considered as sports attires and sports shoes, therefore, cannot be tax deductible.

Non-Vocational Bachelor’s Degrees

Here is a much more recent point of confusion when it comes to education tax incentives. LHDN has elaborated on the education tax relief by stating the kinds of undergraduate diplomas, and degrees that qualify for tax reliefs. These categories are Law, Accounting, Islamic Financing, Technical, Vocational, Industrial, Scientific, and Technology.

This elaboration means that courses like Anthropology, English Literature, Indonesian Studies, and Philosophy etc. are not eligible for education tax relief should the taxpayers decide to pursue diplomas and degrees out of the listings. These courses are only eligible if the taxpayer decided to pursue them at the Master’s level or Doctorate level.

Both Parental Medical Relief and Care Relief Together

Please hear us on this part. It is true that there is a tax relief for either parental medical expense or parental care. However, the keyword to note for this segment is “or”. LHDN has stated in the Income Tax Act that one criteria to claim parental care tax relief is that the taxpayer must not claim expenses related to medical treatment and care for the parents.

As such, taxpayers who take care of their parents must decide which tax relief they wish to apply for. If you decided to apply for the medical expenses relief for your parents, then you are limited to only medical expense relief and vice versa. For more information on parental care tax reliefs, visit KPMG’s official website.

Private Nannies

This part is for the parents with infants or children under the age of six years old. LHDN recently introduced a tax relief for childcare fees from child care centre and kindergartens at the maximum rate of RM1,000. However, this clause is not applicable for private nannies or caretakers. It should also be noted that only one parent can claim the tax relief for childcare fees.

With regards to this matter, it is in your best interest that you search for registered child care centres and kindergartens from the directory on the Department of Social Welfare’s website and request for the invoice/receipts for tax relief application.

Some Serious Illnesses

It is true that LHDN has stated the tax rebates/relief for any medical expense, including complete medical examination for the taxpayers and their family with serious illness.

However, LHDN has also provided a list of illnesses, major surgeries, and amputations that are considered eligible for this tax relief. As such, we recommend you consult your doctor on the serious illness you have and cross-reference that with the list from LHDN to see if medical expenses for such illness are eligible for tax rebates or deductions.

In Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, it is important to note that some of these items are subjected to changes at the discretion of the government and their budget for each year. However, there are a few things you can do to clarify these matters.

1) Collect the necessary receipts and documentations for tax reliefs.

2) Contact the nearest LHDN branch for more information and clarity.

With that, we hope that you can get the most out of the tax reliefs when filing your taxes this year. Want to know more about tax reliefs? You can read some of our previous articles here. Have anything to add to this article? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section down below!

0 comments

Agree or disagree with this post? Questions? You also have your word!

  • Imtax

    Good summary. Thanks! One question though. Can I still claim the deductibles if I purchased the items from outside Malaysia, or from international websites like Amazon, eBay in USD?

    Reply
    • RinggitPlus

      Hi, Imtax.

      Based on what we know, this part is at the discretion of LHDN. Therefore, you need to contact LHDN to see if those items purchased overseas are considered tax deductible.

      Thanks for the question and we hope this help.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Is digital paper subscription under lifestyle tax exemption

      Reply
      • RinggitPlus

        Hi, Anonymous.

        There is no clear statement on e-papers for the lifestyle segment. As such, we recommend contacting LHDN for more information and clarity.

        Thanks for the question and we hope this help.

        Reply
      • Karrie

        If a taxpayer bought a smartphone for himself and wife and total are RM2500. Do they get a relief of RM2500 for lifestyle tax relief?

        Reply
        • RinggitPlus

          Hi, Karrie.

          Yes, you are entitled to the tax relief for the smartphones under the Lifestyle segment. We also recommend contacting LHDN for more information and clarity.

          Thanks for the question and we hope this help.

          Reply
        • Jacky Teoh

          under lifestyle section, there is one more about Internet Subscription. Question : No matter purchase computer , tablet , annual internet fee.... etc...etc.... should we include the GST or exclude ? Example : Month Internet subscription RM50 + RM3 (GST) = RM53 x 12 = RM636 or RM50 x 12 = RM600 ??? which one should i fill in ? RM636 or RM600 ?

          Reply
          • RinggitPlus

            Hi, Jacky Teoh.

            Based on what we know, you should base your claim on the total amount stated on the receipt (including GST). This means if the final amount including GST is RM636, then you should claim RM636. We also recommend contacting LHDN for more information.

            Thanks for the question and we hope this help.

            Reply
          • Jacky Teoh

            I had contact LHDN, GST Should Exclude

            Reply
            • Aniso

              under lifestyle section, there is Internet Subscription. Question : I have handphone postpaid plan that combined call plan and internet data plan. Can we consider this as internet subcription? Can I claim?

              Reply
              • Anonymous

                As replied from LHDN email, any Telco package is included. If your bill got itemized the internet data and call rates, etc., then you only can claim the internet data portion, if not stated, then you can claim full amount. But exclude GST. Keep all receipt for 7 years.

                Reply
                • RinggitPlus

                  Hey, Aniso.

                  There is no clear definition of what is or not considered as internet subscription. As such, we recommend you contacting LHDN for more information and clarity.

                  Thanks for the question and we hope this help.

                  Reply
                • Joyce

                  Can a person claims Internet subscription relief when the bill is under his wife's name. He paid the bills because his wife is not working.

                  Reply
                  • RinggitPlus

                    Hi, Joyce.

                    The person who is paying the bill must have some documentation like bank receipts to prove that he is the one settling the bills. So, get those essential documents ready for LHDN to verify.

                    Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                    Reply
                  • ong

                    can sports shoes entitled for tax relief?

                    Reply
                    • RinggitPlus

                      Hi, ong

                      Sports shoes are not considered as sports equipment under the Sports Development Act, therefore there's no tax relief for it.

                      Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                      Reply
                    • ong

                      previously my mum was hospitalised in Pantai hospital for renal stone and the entire cost incurred was around RM2K plus, , may i know is this eligible for tax relief? like maybe under parents' medical tax relief?

                      Reply
                      • RinggitPlus

                        Hi, Ong.

                        Yes, you can claim the Parent medical expense so long as you can provide the medical receipts for the treatment.

                        Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                        Reply
                      • KATRINA

                        Are the costs incurred for blood test screening and mamogram screening entitled for relief under the RM500 limit given for medical examination?

                        Reply
                        • RinggitPlus

                          Hi, Katrina

                          This part is at the discretion of LHDN regarding the medical examination. It is at your best interest to contact LHDN regarding this matter.

                          Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                          Reply
                        • Vivienne

                          Hi there, OR parental care relief (until YA2020) for father and mother -> do i need to show receipts?

                          Reply
                          • RinggitPlus

                            Hi, Viviene

                            You do not need to provide receipts for the parental tax relief. You just need to make sure that you can prove that the person are taking care is indeed your parents.

                            Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                            Reply
                          • Vivienne

                            Hi Ong, under the 1,500 medical expenses for dad and mom, do i need to show receipts?

                            Reply
                            • wina

                              Hi, is a kindle device considered a tablet and claimable?

                              Reply
                              • RinggitPlus

                                Hi, Wina

                                Kindle is not considered as a tablet, therefore it can't be claimed for tax relief.

                                Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                Reply
                              • Andy

                                Can A golf Driver be claimed under lifestyle

                                Reply
                                • RinggitPlus

                                  Hi, Andy.

                                  Golf driver is not part of the Lifestyle tax relief.

                                  Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                  Reply
                                • lim

                                  can treadmill entitled for tax relief?

                                  Reply
                                  • RinggitPlus

                                    Hi, Lim.

                                    Based on the Income Tax Act and Sports Development Act, thread mills are not considered as sport equipment and therefore not eligible for tax relief.

                                    Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                    Reply
                                  • Zachary

                                    Hi, can we claim tax relief for mental illness under Serious illness? Thank you

                                    Reply
                                    • RinggitPlus

                                      Hi, Zachary

                                      You can claim tax relief for mental illness under the serious illness section.

                                      Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                      Reply
                                    • kate

                                      I would like to know whether the donations make to various charitable organisation such as school, temples, kindergarten is it eligible to tax waive? or only those receipts that indicate tax waive are eligible to claim?

                                      Reply
                                    • J

                                      hi, is an iphone claimable under lifestyle relief ?

                                      Reply
                                      • RinggitPlus

                                        Hi, J

                                        You can claim tax relief for your newly purchased iPhone.

                                        Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                        Reply
                                      • Jay

                                        Hi,
                                        Are tennis/badminton strings and racket grips considered as sports equipments?

                                        Reply
                                        • RinggitPlus

                                          Hi, Jay

                                          You can add those under the sports equipment lifestyle tax relief. For more information, contact LHDN.

                                          Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                          Reply
                                        • Jacqueline ann Sammy

                                          is monthly wifi subscription consider for tax relief 2018?

                                          Reply
                                        • Wc

                                          Hi, if I bought a smartphone but receipt is not my name can i claim for tax relief? Because I use my friend account to buy from the official site.

                                          Reply
                                          • RinggitPlus

                                            Hi, Wc

                                            This is hard to say since you mentioned that you bought the phone with your friend's account. Perhaps, you should contact LHDN on this matter.

                                            Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                            Reply
                                          • SY

                                            Hi, If my parent has claimed the medical fees from the insurance company, can I still claim for tax relief?

                                            Reply
                                            • RinggitPlus

                                              Hi, SY

                                              You can't do that since you mentioned that your parents' medical fees are paid by the insurance company.

                                              Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                              Reply
                                            • cm leong

                                              Can I claim parents' dental medical bills for tax relief?

                                              Reply
                                              • RinggitPlus

                                                Hi, cm Leong

                                                You can claim your parents' dental expenses since its part of the medical expense.

                                                Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                                Reply
                                              • Ke

                                                Hi, purchase incumbent bike can claimed under lifestyle?

                                                Reply
                                                • Adrienne

                                                  Hi, is Yoga fitness receipt can claimed under lifestyle?

                                                  Reply
                                                  • Nomolos

                                                    Hi,

                                                    We took up an education insurance for my son through great eastern. The statement is under my wife's name as she is already a great eastern customer. Can I claim this insurance, or only can she claim it because the statement is under her name?

                                                    Reply
                                                    • RinggitPlus

                                                      Hi, Nomolos

                                                      It will be in her best interest for her to claim it since it is under her name.

                                                      Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                                      Reply
                                                    • Gloria

                                                      hi there, I have two questions:

                                                      1. In regards to parents' medical expenses, if my father is still working but I paid for my mother's (non-working) medical bills, am I eligible to claim this tax relief?

                                                      2. For the PRS tax relief, if I put in RM3000 in 2017 but nothing in 2018, can i still claim the tax relief for 2018?

                                                      Thank you!

                                                      Reply
                                                      • RinggitPlus

                                                        Hi, Gloria

                                                        You can claim for your mother's medical expenses so long as you have proof that you paid them. Regarding the PRS contribution, it is unlikely you can claim tax relief for 2018 since you didn't contribute money to it.

                                                        Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                                        Reply
                                                      • Adrienne

                                                        Hi, is Yoga fitness is claimable under lifestyle?

                                                        Reply
                                                        • RinggitPlus

                                                          Hi, Adrienne

                                                          Based on the LHDN's website, it is not claimable under the lifestyle segment. You could also consult LHDN for more information.

                                                          Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                                          Reply
                                                        • Calvin T

                                                          Hi RinggitPlus Team,

                                                          Just to let you know that I Benefit a lot from this post and also all the comment replied. Thanks a lot!

                                                          Definitely going to subscribe!

                                                          Reply
                                                          • Lim

                                                            Hi,

                                                            May i know IVF expenses can claim as medical expenses? Thanks.

                                                            Reply
                                                            • RinggitPlus

                                                              Hi, Lim

                                                              Perhaps you could check with LHDN on this matter.

                                                              Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                                              Reply
                                                            • Ann

                                                              Hi,
                                                              1. Can computer related accessories - like printer, or smartphone accessories - like earphones, be claimed under "Lifestyle"?
                                                              2. Are electronic appliances tax deductible under "Lifestyle"?
                                                              3. How about getting an IELTS qualification? Is the exam registration fee deductible under "Education Fees (Self)" ?

                                                              Thank you.

                                                              Reply
                                                              • RinggitPlus

                                                                Hi, Ann

                                                                With regards to all three question, the answer is no as each tax relief has a specific list of item that you can claim. You can check with LHDN on this matter.

                                                                Thanks for the question and we hope this helps.

                                                                Reply