10th March 2023 - 18 min read
As always, Malaysia’s tax season has rolled around with the arrival of March, and if you’re like most taxpayers, your immediate priority is to start looking for information on all the tax reliefs, tax deductions, and tax rebates that you’re eligible for so that you can pay less tax. (Believe us, this is an inescapable annual ritual for all taxpayers in Malaysia – heck, even around the world.)
It’s worth highlighting from the get-go that tax reliefs, deductions, and rebates are actually three different things meant to help you reduce your aggregate income, chargeable income, and amount of tax charged, respectively – ultimately letting you enjoy a lower tax rate and pay less in tax altogether. But for now, our focus in this article is to give you an overview of all the items that you can claim to maximise your tax refund, so let’s get down to it!
We’ve prepared an infographic that summarises all the tax reliefs, deductions, and rebates that you can claim for YA 2022 – for those of you who just need a quick check. But if you’d like to find out more about the nitty gritty of each item, scroll down further to read the specifics.
Understandably, several of these tax reliefs, deductions, and rebates come with certain conditions and requirements to claim, so if you’re looking for the fine prints of each item for clarification, then this section is for you.
Read on to check and make sure that you really are eligible for the reliefs, deductions, and rebates that you want to claim.
Tax reliefs let you 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 2022:
1) Individual & dependent relatives
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 (carer should not be the taxpayer, or his/her spouse or child). Parents must reside and treatment must be provided in Malaysia.
This tax relief was originally capped at a maximum of RM5,000, but it was subsequently raised to RM8,000 in YA 2021. In the same year of assessment, the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) also removed a sub-category of this tax relief that allowed individuals to claim RM1,500 for each parent (RM3,000 for both father and mother) if they did not make a claim for medical treatment for their parents.
Claim: Up to RM4,000
This relief is only applicable if your spouse has no source or income, or if he/she opts for a joint assessment in your name. Additionally, you cannot claim this relief if your spouse has a gross income exceeding RM4,000 derived from sources outside of Malaysia.
If you’re a husband paying alimony to a former wife, the deduction is allowed for the amount of alimony paid or up to a limit of RM4,000. Note as well that the total deduction for a wife living together and alimony payments to a former wife is also capped at RM4,000. Only formal alimony agreements qualify for this tax relief (voluntary alimony payments under a mutual agreement do not qualify).
4) Education fees in Malaysia
Claim: Up to RM7,000
You can claim this tax relief for the amount 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), applicable as such:
|Education/degree level||Eligible courses of study|
|Masters or Doctorate degree||Any course of study undertaken is eligible|
|Other than a Masters/Doctorate degree||Any course of study up to tertiary level undertaken for law, accounting, Islamic finance, technical, vocational, industrial, scientific, or technical skills or qualifications are eligible|
|Course of study undertaken for up-skilling (sub-limit of RM2,000)||Any skill areas recognised by the Director General of the Department of Skills Development under the National Skills Development Act 2006 (Act 652)|
For context, the tax relief for up-skilling courses was first introduced for YA 2021, with a sub-limit of RM1,000. This sub-limit was subsequently increased for YA 2022, and the deduction is currently allowed until YA 2023.
5) Medical expenses
Claim: Up to RM8,000 (in total)
You can claim this tax relief for the following categories of medical expenses, as detailed below:
|Medical expenses on serious diseases for self, spouse, or child||Up to RM8,000 in total (inclusive of medical expenses for fertility treatment, vaccination expenses, as well as complete medical and mental health 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 spouse||Up to RM8,000 in total (inclusive of medical expenses for fertility treatment, vaccination expenses, as well as complete medical and mental health 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
|Vaccination expenses for self, spouse, or child||Up 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 and mental health examination for self, spouse, or child||Up 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)|
– Includes Covid-19 detection tests (e.g. PCR and RTK tests) and vaccination expenses
– Includes mental health examination by registered psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and counsellors
The tax relief for mental health examination was introduced under Budget 2022, where the government noted that Covid-19 had a negative impact not only on the economy, but also on the psyche of individuals in general. As such, this tax relief is intended as a form of assistance to those who are in need of expert services.
It is also essential that you retain the receipts of your medical treatments, along with the certification of the registered medical practitioner for future reference.
6) Lifestyle purchases for self, spouse, or child
Claim: Up to RM2,500
You can claim this tax relief for the following expenses:
7) Expenses related to sports activity for self
Claim: Up to RM500
This tax relief is allocated specifically for sports-related expenses to encourage a more active lifestyle among Malaysians, and covers the following:
This tax relief is provided as an additional relief to the general lifestyle tax relief of RM2,500 that was mentioned earlier. In terms of calculation, assuming you purchased sports equipment worth RM3,000 in 2022, you will first claim RM2,500 under the general lifestyle tax relief, then the remaining RM500 under this additional relief specifically for sports.
8) Purchase, installation, or rental of electric vehicles (EV) charging equipment
Claim: Up to RM2,500
You can claim this tax relief for the fees of purchasing (including hire-purchase), installing, and renting EV charging equipment. It also includes the subscription of the use of EV charging facilities.
This tax relief, introduced under Budget 2022, is currently applicable for YA 2022 and YA 2023.
9) [Special] Purchase of personal computer, smartphones, or tablet for self, spouse, or child
Claim: Up to RM2,500
This additional lifestyle relief was first announced for YA 2020, intended to support work-from-home (WFH) arrangements. Originally applicable between 1 June to 31 December 2020, it was subsequently extended until 31 December 2021, and then once more to 31 December 2022.
LHDN has also confirmed before that this tax relief is stackable with the general lifestyle tax relief of RM2,500; if you’re still unsure how it works, here’s an illustration: Let’s say you’ve purchased a smartphone worth RM2,000 in March 2022, and a laptop for RM4,000 in July 2022. Accordingly, you can claim up to RM2,500 for the purchase of the laptop under this special tax relief. Meanwhile, under the general lifestyle tax relief, you can claim RM2,000 for the smartphone and another RM500 from the purchase of the laptop.
10) [Special] Tourist accommodation, attractions, or tour package
Claim: Up to RM1,000
This is another additional relief that was introduced during YA 2020 to support Malaysia’s domestic tourism and travel industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. Like the special tax relief for the purchase of selected electronics to boost WFH arrangements, it was also extended twice: first to cover YA 2021, then YA 2022 as well (expenses made until 31 December 2022).
Specifically, you can claim this tax relief for the following domestic tourism expenses:
11) Breastfeeding equipment
Claim: Up to RM1,000 per mother
You can claim 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:
Note that you can only claim this once every two years.
12) Childcare fees
Claim: Up to RM3,000
You can claim this relief for childcare fees for a child aged 6 years and below, paid to a registered childcare centre or kindergarten. It is capped at 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. Divorced couples, meanwhile, can both claim the tax relief, provided they made payments for the childcare fees of different children. Claims made under this category must be evidenced by the child’s birth document and receipts from the childcare centre or kindergarten.
The maximum limit of this relief used to be set at RM1,000, but it was increased to RM3,000 as part of the government’s Covid-19 economic recovery programme.
13) Net deposit in SSPN
Claim: Up to RM8,000 per individual with children
Parents who save with the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) for their children’s higher education (amount deposited under their children’s name) can claim tax relief for the net deposit in SSPN, up to the claim limitation.
To clarify, net deposit refers to the amount of savings that remain after deducting any withdrawals that you have made during the year. For example, if your SSPN account had a balance of RM4,500 brought forward from 2021 to 2022, and you then deposited RM2,000 and subsequently withdrew RM1,500 throughout the year, you are only allowed to deduct RM500 tax relief (RM2,000 – RM1,500). The balance brought forward (RM4,500) will not be taken into account.
For your convenience, SSPN will generate a tax document that shows you the net deposit you can claim for tax relief.
14) 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.
15) Child (18+) in full-time education
Claim: RM2,000 or RM8,000 per child
You can claim a tax relief of RM2,000 for each child who is unmarried, 18 years of age and above, and receiving full-time education.
Meanwhile, a deduction of RM8,000 is allowed if the child is unmarried, 18 years of age and above, and meet any of the following criteria:
16) 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 can be deducted under this tax relief, but not your child’s. Contributions to approved schemes, such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), too, is allowed under this relief. Private retirement scheme (PRS) contributions, on the other hand, fall under a different category.
The treatment of this relief differs depending on whether you are a pensionable public servant and private sector employee. Typically, pensionable public servants can claim up to the full RM7,000 relief under life insurance premium payments and takaful contributions; the EPF relief allocation does not apply to them. Meanwhile, private sector employees (who contribute to EPF) are restricted to a limit of RM3,000 for life insurance premium payments and takaful contributions, and RM4,000 for EPF or other approved schemes.
As of YA 2022, the government has expanded the tax relief allocation for EPF to include voluntary contributions as well. As such, this means public servants who make voluntary contributions to the EPF or other approved schemes are now also allowed to tap into the RM3,000 (life insurance premium payments/takaful contributions) and RM4,000 (EPF/other approved schemes) relief allocation as well.
17) Private retirement scheme (PRS) and deferred annuity
Claim: Up to RM3,000
The total deduction under this relief is limited at RM3,000 for an individual, and RM3,000 for a spouse who has a source of income. If you elect for joint assessment, however, the deduction allowed is restricted to RM3,000.
This tax relief has been provided since YA 2012, and has been extended until YA 2025.
18) Education and medical insurance
Claim: Up to RM3,000
This claim is allowed for the payment of 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 a separate RM3,000 for a spouse who has a source of income. Couples who elect for joint assessment, however, will be restricted to a deduction limit of RM3,000.
Claim: Up to RM350
Your contributions to the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) can be claimed as relief during the year of assessment. Previously, this relief was capped at RM250, but it was subsequently increased to RM350 under Budget 2022. The scope of this tax relief was also expanded to include employees’ contributions through the Employment Insurance System (EIS).
20) Equipment for disabled self, spouse, child, and parent
Claim: Up to RM6,000
This relief can be claimed for the expenses incurred to purchase any necessary basic supporting equipment for yourself, spouse, child, or parent. However, the disabled individual must be registered with the Department of Social Welfare.
Basic supporting equipment includes haemodialysis machines, wheelchairs, artificial legs, and hearing aids. Spectacles and optical lenses are excluded.
21) Disabled individual
Disabled individuals can claim a further deduction under this tax relief if they have been certified in writing by the Department of Social Welfare.
22) Disabled husband/wife
Those who have a disabled spouse are entitled to a further deduction under this relief. This relief was previously set at RM3,500; it was then increased to RM5,000 under Budget 2021.
23) Disabled child
Individuals with a disabled child who is unmarried can claim this tax relief.
24) Additional relief for disabled child (18+) in higher education
You are also entitled to this additional relief – in addition to the RM6,000 relief provided for those with a disabled child (mentioned above) – if your child is unmarried (18 years of age and above), and meets the following conditions:
Essentially, you can get a child relief of RM14,000 in total.
While tax reliefs reduce your chargeable income, tax deductions reduce the amount of your aggregate income (the sum of your total income for the entire year). Here are the deductions allowed for YA 2022, along with the fine prints:
1) Donations to charities, sports activity, and approved funds/institutions
Deduction: Up to 10% of aggregate income
Donations that fall under the following categories are restricted to 10% of your aggregate income:
Donations and contributions made by individual taxpayers to help fight against the Covid-19 pandemic (to approved institutions, organisations, or funds) also fall under this category. This includes the Covid-19 Fund that was set up by the government in 2020.
If you contribute to the National Disaster Management (NADMA), however, the tax deduction amount is equal to the amount of the contribution.
2) Other donations, gifts, and contributions
Deduction: Up to value of gift, unless stated otherwise
You can enjoy tax deductions (of varying limits) for the following situations:
3) Membership subscription for professional bodies
Deduction: Membership subscription paid
Membership subscription fees paid to professional bodies for one’s profession – such as medical or legal professional fees – can be claimed as tax deductions.
Last but not least, tax rebates are calculated at the end 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
You will be entitled to this rebate of RM400 on the tax charged if your chargeable income (after tax relief and deductions) do not exceed RM35,000.
2) Tax rebate for spouse
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, then you can also claim this rebate. As a reminder, 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. The following supporting documents are needed to claim this rebate:
You can only claim this tax rebate for up to two trips per lifetime.
Rebate: Zakat/fitrah paid
This rebate is applied to the payment of obligatory zakat and fitrah during the basis of the assessment year.
Now that you’re aware of the full list of tax reliefs, deductions, and rebates that you can claim for YA 2022, we hope that the tax filing process will be smoother for you. No doubt it’ll take some time for you to go through your spending in the past year and match it to all the reliefs that you’re eligible for, but it’ll be worth it for the tax refunds that you gain!
We’ll also be publishing our Income Tax Guide for YA 2022 very soon! In the meantime, do check out our other income tax articles for YA 2022 here for other tax-related information, such as how to file your taxes for the first time, or if you are a freelancer or have a side business.
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nice, very details on each categories, it clear my doubt on which can apply for child and spouse.