Everything You Should Claim As Income Tax Relief Malaysia 2022 (YA 2021)
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With the income tax season having arrived once more, taxpayers will no doubt strive (yet again) to get the maximum tax refund possible. After all, no one wants to pay more tax than they absolutely must, do they?

And as we’re sure most of you are aware, maximising tax refunds means tapping into as many tax deductions, tax reliefs, and tax rebates that you are eligible for. This way, you’ll be able to reduce your aggregate income, chargeable income, and amount of tax charged, respectively – and in turn, ensure that you pay less tax.

Here, we’ve prepared an infographic to give you a quick view of all the tax reliefs, deductions, and rebates that you can claim for YA 2021. You should be familiar with most of them, but there may be some newer incentives that you may not be aware of.

For specific details about each tax relief, deduction, and rebates, go ahead and scroll past the infographic to read on.

The Specifics Of Tax Reliefs, Deductions, And Rebates For YA 2021

Now that you’ve seen the full list of items that you can tap into to help you with your tax refunds, this section offers a closer look at the details and fine prints for each tax relief, deduction, and rebate that you’re eligible for:

Tax Reliefs

Briefly, tax reliefs allow you to reduce your chargeable income (your income that will determine what tax rate you are charged with). Here are the full details of all the tax reliefs that you can claim for YA 2021:

1) Individual and dependent relatives

Claim: RM9,000

Granted automatically to an individual for themselves and their dependents.

2) Medical treatment, special needs, and carer expenses for parents

Claim: Up to RM8,000

Includes care and treatment by a nursing home, and non-cosmetic dental treatment. Must be evidenced by a registered medical practitioner or written certification of a qualified carer. Parents must reside and treatment must be provided in Malaysia.

Note that the amount has been increased from RM5,000 back in YA 2020. The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has also done away with a “sub-category” of this tax relief that previously allowed individuals to claim RM1,500 for each parent (RM3,000 for mother and father) if they did not make a claim for medical treatment for their parents.

3) Husband/Wife/Alimony

Claim: Up to RM4,000

You’re entitled to this relief only if your spouse has no source or income, or if he/she elects for a joint assessment in your name. You cannot claim this if your spouse has a gross income exceeding RM4,000 derived from sources outside of Malaysia.

For husbands paying alimony to a former wife, the deduction is allowed for the amount of alimony paid or up to a limit of RM4,000. Meanwhile, the total deduction for a wife and alimony payments to a former wife is restricted to RM4,000. Only formal alimony agreements qualify for this tax relief.

4) Education fees (self)

Claim: Up to RM7,000

You can claim for fees spent on a course of study undertaken in a recognised institution or professional body in Malaysia (as listed by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia). For those who are doing their Masters or Doctorate degrees, any course of study undertaken is eligible. For others, any course of study up to tertiary level undertaken for law, accounting, Islamic financing, technical, vocational, industrial, scientific, or technical skills or qualifications will be eligible.

For YA 2021, the government has also extended this tax relief for individuals who take up any course of study undertaken for the purpose of upskilling or enhancing their skills – although it is limited to only RM1,000. These courses must be recognised by the Director General of the Department of Skills Development under the National Skills Development Act 2006.

5) Medical expenses

Claim: Up to RM8,000 (in total)

ExpensesClaim limitDetails
Medical expenses on serious diseases for self, spouse, or childUp to RM8,000 in total (inclusive of medical expenses for fertility treatment, vaccination expenses, and complete medical examination)Includes treatment of AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, renal failure, leukemia, heart attack, pulmonary hypertension, chronic liver disease, fulminant viral hepatitis, head trauma with neurological deficit, tumour in brain or vascular malformation, major burns, major organ transplant, and major amputation of limbs  
Medical expenses for fertility treatment for self or spouseUp to RM8,000 in total (inclusive of medical expenses on serious diseases, vaccination expenses, and complete medical examination)– Includes intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or any other fertility treatments on yourself or your spouse, including consultation fees and medicines.
– Only married individuals are eligible for this tax relief  
Vaccination expenses for self, spouse, or childUp to RM1,000 (included in the overall RM8,000 tax relief allowed under this category)Includes vaccination for pneumococcal, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, rotavirus, varicella, meningococcal, tetanus-diphtheria-acellular-pertussis (TDAP combination), and coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)  
Complete medical examination for self, spouse, or childUp to RM1,000 (included in the overall RM8,000 tax relief allowed under this category)– Refers to a thorough examination as defined by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)
– Also includes Covid-19 detection tests (e.g. PCR and RTK tests) and vaccination expenses

Make sure to retain the receipts of your treatments, along with a certification of the registered medical practitioner for future reference – especially for expenses spent on serious diseases and fertility treatment.

6) Lifestyle purchases for self, spouse, or child

Claim: Up to RM2,500

You are entitled to claim this tax relief for the purchase of:

  • Books, journals, magazines, printed newspapers, and other similar publications in both hardcopy and electronic forms; banned and offensive materials excluded
  • Personal computer, smartphone or tablet; additional charges for warranty or devices used for the purposes of own business excluded
  • Sports equipment for sports activities defined under the Sports Development Act 1997, including golf balls and shuttlecocks, and payment for gym membership. Motorised bicycles and club memberships which provides gym facilities are excluded
  • Internet subscription paid through monthly bill registered under your own name

7) [Special] Purchase of personal computer, smartphones, or tablet for self, spouse, or child

Claim: Up to RM2,500

(Image: Malay Mail/Shafwan Zaidon)

This is an additional lifestyle relief (on top of the general lifestyle relief mentioned above) that was first introduced during YA 2020, which allows you to claim up to another RM2,500 in relief for the purchase of a personal computer, smartphone, or tablet. Originally allowed for the purchase of such electronics between 1 June to 31 December 2020, it was subsequently extended until 31 December 2021 under the Permai stimulus package.

To illustrate how it works, say you’ve purchased a smartphone worth RM2,000 in March and a laptop worth RM4,000 in July, you can claim up to the maximum amount offered under these two tax reliefs. Under the additional tax relief, you can claim up to RM2,500 for the purchase of the laptop. And under the general lifestyle tax relief, you can claim RM2,000 for the smartphone and another RM500 from the purchase of the laptop.

Also, note that this relief can only be claimed if you buy the device for non-business purposes, and it does not extend to additional charges for warranty.

8) [Special] Tourist accommodation or attractions

Claim: Up to RM1,000

This is another additional relief that was introduced during YA 2020 to help the country’s tourism and travel industry to recover from the economic repercussions brought on by Covid-19 – and was subsequently extended to YA 2021. You can claim this relief for expenses spent on tourist accommodation charges and entrance fees to tourist attractions for individuals, applicable to payments made until 31 December 2021. The scope of this tax relief has also been expanded to include the purchase of travel packages from 1 January 2021 onwards.

Take care, though, to check that your selected accommodation premises are registered with the Commissioner of Tourism. The travel agencies whom you buy your travel packages from should also be approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC).

9) Expenses related to sports activity for self

Claim: Up to RM500

sports equipment-badminton
(Image: AsiaOne)

A third additional lifestyle tax relief that is allocated specifically for sports-related expenses, including:

  • Purchase of sports equipment for any sports activity as defined under the Sport Development Act 1997 (excluding motorised two-wheel bicycles)
  • Payment of rental or entrance fees to sports facilities
  • Payment of registration fees for sports competitions where the organiser is approved and licensed by the Commissioner of Sports under the Sport Development Act 1997

This tax relief is also on top of the general lifestyle tax relief mentioned earlier.

10) Breastfeeding equipment

Claim: Up to RM1,000 per mother

You are entitled to this relief if you are a breastfeeding mother and have purchased breastfeeding equipment for your own use to breastfeed your own child aged 2 years and below. Breastfeeding equipment that qualifies include:

  • Breast pump kit and ice pack
  • Breast milk collection and storage equipment
  • Cooler set or cooler bag

Note that you’re only allowed to claim this once every two years.

11) Childcare fees

Claim:  Up to RM3,000

This tax relief is allowed for childcare fees for a child aged 6 years and below, paid to a registered childcare centre or kindergarten. The maximum claim is restricted to RM3,000 even if you have more than one child who is eligible for this care. If a married couple is assessed separately, this relief can only be claimed by either the husband or the wife who makes the expenditure. Meanwhile, divorced husband and wife can both claim the tax deduction, provided they made payment for the childcare fees of different children.

The maximum limit for this relief used to be set at RM1,000, but has since been increased to RM3,000 as part of a Covid-19 pandemic aid.

12) Net deposit in SSPN

Claim: Up to RM8,000 per individual with children

Parents who have savings in the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) for their children’s higher education can claim tax relief for the net deposit in SSPN up to the claim limitation. Net deposit is essentially the amount of savings that remain after deducting any withdrawals that you have made during the year. To make things easier for taxpayers, the SSPN will generate a tax document that shows you the net deposit you can claim for tax relief.

13) Ordinary child relief (under age of 18)

Claim: RM2,000 per child

A deduction is allowed for every child who is unmarried and is below the age of 18 years at any time during the year of assessment.

14) Child (18+) in full-time education

Claim: RM2,000 per child or RM8,000 per child

Individuals are allowed to tap into a deduction of RM2,000 for each child who is unmarried, 18 years of age and above, and receiving full-time education.

Meanwhile, you can claim RM8,000 if you have children who are unmarried, 18 years of age and above, and meet any of the following criteria:

  • In full-time education (other than matriculation/pre-degree/A-Levels) at an educational establishment in Malaysia
  • Serving under articles or indentures to qualify in a trade or profession in Malaysia
  • Pursuing a full-time degree (or equivalent, including Masters or Doctorate) outside of Malaysia

15) Life insurance and EPF

Claim: Up to RM7,000 (allocation differs for public and non-public employees)

Payments of your or your spouse’s life insurance premiums (but not child) are deductible under this relief, as are contributions to approved schemes, such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Private retirement scheme contributions, however, do not fall under this category.

Note that the treatment of this relief differs depending on whether you are a pensionable public servant or someone who works in the private sector. The EPF relief allocation does not apply to pensionable public servants, who have opted for pensionable retirement and do not contribute to any approved schemes other than private retirement schemes. As such, they are allowed to claim up to the full RM7,000 relief under life insurance premium payments and takaful contributions.

Meanwhile, those who are not public servants – who are also EPF contributors – will be restricted to a limit of RM3,000 for life insurance premium payments and takaful contributions, and RM4,000 for EPF or other approved schemes.

16) Private retirement scheme (PRS) and deferred annuity

Claim: Up to RM3,000

The total deduction under this relief is restricted to RM3,000 for an individual and RM3,000 for a spouse who has a source of income. If you elect for joint assessment of income tax with your spouse, the deduction allowed is also restricted to RM3,000.

17) Education and medical insurance

Claim: Up to RM3,000

This claim is allowed for insurance premiums that are related to education or medical benefits for yourself, spouse, or child. The total deduction under this relief is restricted to RM3,000 for an individual, and RM3,000 for a spouse who has a source of income. Again, couples who elect for joint assessment will be restricted to a deduction limit of RM3,000.

18) SOCSO

Claim: Up to RM250

Your contributions to the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) can be claimed as relief during the year of assessment.

19) Equipment for disabled self, spouse, child, and parent

Claim: Up to RM6,000

You can claim the amount spent on purchasing any necessary basic supporting equipment for yourself, spouse, child, or parent – as long as the individual is disabled and is registered with the Department of Social Welfare. Basic supporting equipment includes haemodialysis machine, wheelchair, artificial leg, and hearing aids. Spectacles and optical lenses are excluded.

20) Disabled individual

Claim: RM6,000

Disabled individuals who have been certified in writing by the Department of Social Welfare as a disabled person are eligible for a further deduction under this relief.

21) Disabled husband/wife

Claim: RM5,000

Those who have a disabled spouse are entitled to a further deduction under this relief. Previously, the relief allowed was set at RM3,500, but it was increased to RM5,000 under Budget 2021.

22) Disabled child

Claim: RM6,000

If you have a disabled child who is unmarried, you are entitled to a deduction under this relief.

23) Additional relief for disabled child (18+) in higher education

Claim: RM8,000

You are also entitled to this additional relief (on top of the RM6,000 relief for disabled child mentioned above) if you have a disabled child who is unmarried (aged 18 years and above), and is enrolled in any of the following:

  • Full-time education (other than matriculation/pre-degree/A-Levels) at an educational establishment in Malaysia
  • Serving under articles or indentures to qualify in a trade or profession in Malaysia
  • Pursuing a full-time degree (or equivalent, including Masters or Doctorate) outside of Malaysia

Tax Deductions

Unlike tax reliefs, tax deductions reduce the amount of your aggregate income – which is the sum of your total income for the year put together. You are allowed to tap into the following deductions for YA 2021, but make sure to be aware of the fine prints:

1) Donations to charities, sports bodies, and other approved projects/funds

Deduction: Up to 10% of aggregate income

Donations that fall under the following categories are restricted to 10% of your aggregate income:

  • Gift of money to approved institutions/organisations/funds
  • Gift of money for any approved sports activity
  • Gift of money or cost of contribution in kind for any approved project of national interest
  • Gift of money in the form of wakaf to religious authorities or public universities or endowment to public universities

Any donations and contributions that were made by individual taxpayers to help fight against the Covid-19 pandemic also fall under this category. This includes donation made to the Covid-19 Fund that was set up by the government in 2020 to help those affected by the pandemic. Do make sure that you are able to provide supporting documents to verify your donations, such as official receipts and bank slips.

2) Other donations, gifts, and contributions

Deduction: Up to value of gift unless otherwise stated

Donations under these categories have varying limits and restrictions with regard to the deductions allowed:

  • Gift of money (unlimited) to the government/state government/local authority
  • Gift of artefacts, manuscripts, or paintings
  • Gift of money not exceeding RM20,000 for libraries
  • Gift of money or contribution in kind for disability facilities in public places
  • Gift of money or medical equipment not exceeding RM20,000 to approved healthcare facilities (PPEs, face masks, and hand sanitisers not included)
  • Gift of paintings to the National Art Gallery or state art galleries

3) Membership subscription for professional bodies

Deduction: Membership subscription paid

The membership subscription paid to professional bodies for one’s profession, like medical or legal professional fees, can be claimed as a deduction.

Tax Rebates

Finally, tax rebates are calculated at the end section of your BE form, after you’ve determined the amount of tax charged on your chargeable income. It directly affects your amount of tax charged.

1) Tax rebate for self

Rebate: RM400

If your chargeable income (after tax relief and deductions) do not exceed RM35,000, you will be granted a rebate of RM400 from your tax charged.

2) Tax rebate for spouse

Rebate: RM400

If your chargeable income (after tax relief and deductions) do not exceed RM35,000, and you have been allowed the tax relief of RM4,000 for your spouse, you are entitled to this rebate. To reiterate, the RM4,000 tax relief for spouse is provided if your spouse has no source of income, or elects for joint assessment in your name.

3) Departure levy rebate for umrah or religious travel

Rebate: Amount of departure levy paid

This rebate is granted to anyone who leaves Malaysia by air to perform umrah or other kinds of religious pilgrimage, but not for the purpose of performing hajj. You will need to provide supporting documents in order to claim this rebate:

  • For umrah: A copy of the visa issued by the embassy of Saudi Arabia
  • For any other religious pilgrimage: Written verification by a recognised religious body

Note that you can only claim up to two trips per lifetime for this tax rebate.

4) Zakat/fitrah

Rebate: Zakat/fitrah paid

The rebate is applied to the payment of obligatory zakat and fitrah during the basis of the assessment year.

***

Now that you know the various tax reliefs, deductions, and rebates that you can tap into for YA 2021, make sure to scrutinise your expenditure throughout last year so that you can maximise your tax refund. It may take a while, but it’ll be well-worth the effort!

We will also be coming out with our exclusive Income Tax Guide YA 2021 soon to help you navigate your way through all the nitty-gritty details of filing your taxes, so keep an eye out for it! Do also check out our other income tax articles for in-depth information, such as how to file your taxes for the first time or if you’ve changed or lost your job in the year of assessment.

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Leonardo
8 months ago

Is the education relief applicable to the children ? (international school fees)
Is the medical expenses include also miscellaneous expenses not covered by the private insurance ?

Anonymous
8 months ago

Really helpful for a first timer to have all these details so detailed and on point. Thanks a bunch!

Anonymous
8 months ago

Cant seem to find “Membership subscription for professional bodies” section in the BE form

Anonymous
8 months ago

Fantastic article, thanks for the detailed coverage!

Steph
7 months ago

Can I ask that Hepa B vaccination can claim in the tax relief?

Anonymous
7 months ago

I am confused child at polytech can claim rm2k or rm8k

Confused
7 months ago

How to define “complete medical examination (self, spose , child) ”
“Refers to a thorough examination as defined by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)”
I can’t find any answer to this.
Does a blood test report count for it?
Pls help. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous
7 months ago

Hello,

“Internet subscription paid through monthly bill registered under your own name”
Is this referring to monthly mobile data or home wifi?

Thank you in advance.

Vic Rail
6 months ago

Is severance pay tax deductible ? Where on the BE form can this be inserted as a deductible. It comes in the EA form, but there is no way I can declare it as deducted

Pang Tun Yau
6 months ago
Reply to  Vic Rail

Severance pay should be eligible for partial tax exempt event, according to the IRB’s explanatory notes:
https://phl.hasil.gov.my/pdf/pdfam/Explanatory_Notes_BE_2021_2.pdf

you should also check with a tax consultant who will be able to provide professional counsel in this matter.

Anonymous
6 months ago

Hi

After submitting my BE online last month, Now, I only realize I forgot to claim laptop purchase during 2021 for personal use. Is there any way to claim back?

thanks

rogeeangela
13 days ago

How about personal smartphones purchase outside malaysia with receipt under different warranty?

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