15th December 2021 - 2 min read
Deputy Finance Minister 1 Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah has reiterated in Parliament that individuals who take Covid-19 screening tests can claim up to RM1,000 in tax relief.
According to the deputy minister, the relief – which covers expenses for self, spouse, and his/her children as well – is contained in the latest amendments of the Income Tax Act 1967. These amendments were among the few highlighted during the first tabling of the Finance Bill 2021 on 9 November 2021 – which took place several days after Budget 2022 was presented.
Curiously, Datuk Mohd Shahar was quoted as saying, “The amendments are effective for the 2022 and 2023 year of assessment,” during the second tabling of the Finance Bill 2021 yesterday. However, the Finance Bill itself states that the tax exemption for Covid-19 tests “has effect for the year of assessment 2021 and subsequent years of assessment”, with no specific end date detailed.
To further clarify, former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had actually already announced this RM1,000 tax exemption for Covid-19 tests much earlier as part of the PERMAI stimulus package in January this year. Back then, he too did not shed light on how long the exemption will last.
It would seem odd that the relief would not be applicable for the 2021 year of assessment, if Datuk Mohd Shahar’s quote is correct. For starters, 2021 was the year Covid-19 hit Malaysia hardest, and now with most of the country’s SOPs encouraging regular self testing through the widely available and affordable self-test kits, this relief would greatly benefit taxpayers for YA 2021 instead of YA 2022 and YA 2023.
(Source: Malay Mail)
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