How To File Your Taxes If You Changed Or Lost Your Job Last Year
Author Avatar

It is not an overstatement to say that the past few years have been difficult for many people, with the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across the world. The economic consequences of the pandemic were and still are far-reaching, affecting many business across different industries – which in turn translated to many people having to find new jobs with another employer or becoming unemployed.

With the tax season now upon us, some frequently asked questions by these groups of people are these: what does the tax-filing process look like now? Will they need to take additional steps or fill in extra forms? Do jobless individuals still need to file their taxes if their total income for 2021 fall beneath the requisite amount of RM34,000?

We’ll discuss these and more in this article.

If you changed jobs in the previous year

The tax-filing process for someone who changed jobs in the previous year isn’t too different from the usual procedure, actually! It will involve some extra calculations and EA forms, but otherwise, everything else is pretty much the same.

Similar process, but with extra EA forms

Essentially, filing your taxes when you have more than one employer in the assessment year means you’ll need to combine the total income earned from both companies in a single BE form. The most efficient way to do this is with the EA forms obtained from your previous and current employers. Note that all employers are legally bound to provide their employees – both current and former – with an EA form, so make sure to collect yours!

Your EA forms will provide a summary of the information that you need to file your taxes seamlessly: total income, Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution, Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) contribution, as well as monthly tax deduction. When filing up your BE form, just add the total amount of the respective categories from the different EA forms, and you’re good to go! Be sure to also update your employer’s tax number (E Number) so that it reflects your current employer’s.

What if you didn’t get your EA form from your previous employer?

You can still file your taxes, but it’ll just take a bit more work on your end. Not having your EA form from your previous employer means you’ll need to find all the required information yourself via your salary slips, EPF, and SOCSO statements from the year of assessment. Clearly, this will involve some tedious work, and there is always the likelihood of miscalculations, so do your best to follow up with previous employers before resorting to manual calculations!

If you really are left with no choice, however, your total income, EPF and SOCSO contributions, as well as your monthly tax deductions (MTD/PCB) can be found in your salary slips. Collect all your salary slips from the different employers that you’ve worked with in the year of assessment, and compile these figures. Naturally, this gets more cumbersome the more companies you’ve worked with, so be extra cautious here!

You can also cross check your EPF contributions through your EPF statement online, as well as your SOCSO contributions via your iPERKESO account.

If you were retrenched or unemployed in the previous year

As a rule of thumb, any individuals earning a minimum of RM34,000 after EPF deductions must file their taxes. But what if you were retrenched or unemployed during the year of assessment, and your income did not come up to the requisite amount? Will you still need to file your taxes?

The answer: Yes. You are obligated to file your taxes yearly once you’ve registered your tax file, even if you do not earn the requisite amount. It is also necessary to file your taxes as your retrenchment or unemployment compensations are considered as taxable income – with some eligible for tax exemptions.

Compensation for loss of employment

According to the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDN), compensation for the loss of employment is defined as a payment that is made by employers to their employees upon their termination. Examples of compensation for loss of employment include:

  • Salary or wages in lieu of notice
  • Compensation for breach of a contract of service
  • Payments to obtain release from a contingent liability under a contract of service
  • Ex-gratia or contractual payments, such as redundancy or severance payments (such as Voluntary Separation Schemes (VSS))
  • Payment to restrict an employee from finding similar types of employment after termination with current employer

LHDN further noted that a portion of these compensations are exempted from tax under the Income Tax Act 1967. More specifically, the compensation is exempted as per the following circumstances:

  • Full exemption: The compensation is made on account of loss of employment due to ill health
  • Partial exemption: Exemption of RM10,000 for every completed year of service (full 12 months) with the same employer or with companies in the same group

For YA2020 and YA2021, however, the government has increased the exemption limit for compensation for loss of employment to RM20,000 for each completed year of service. So for example, if you’ve served your employer for four years and were retrenched in 2021, you can enjoy an exemption of up to RM80,000 (RM20,000 x 4 years) on your compensation.

Filing your taxes as an unemployed individual

The tax-filing process for an unemployed individual is not too different from the usual process either! You’ll have to include the compensation amount as part of the statutory income from your employment, along with your other earnings, but make sure to deduct the allowed exemption before doing so. Other than that, you can go ahead and fill in your BE form as usual.

For precaution, make sure to compile and keep all the necessary documents to prove that the lump-sum payment that you receive is your compensation for loss of employment. Aside from your termination letter and contract, you may also want to save your payslips and EA forms as evidence of your tenure with your former employer.


With this, we hope that you have a better idea as to how to file your taxes under these different circumstances. Do also check out our Income Tax page for other tax-related content, such as our step-by-step YA2021 Income Tax Guide, tax reliefs that you can tap into, and how to file your taxes if you’re a first-timer.

5 6 votes
Article Rating


Comments (14)

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

I applied iLestari last year do I have to put the amount received throughout last year in Statutory Income from interest,other periodical payment etc?
Thank you in advance.

Pang Tun Yau
1 year ago
Reply to  Nurul

No, i-Lestari are withdrawals from your income in the past.

1 year ago

If I have no compensations and no income in the past year, do I still need to submit Tex filing?

Pang Tun Yau
1 year ago
Reply to  Jolene

Yup, you do. you just need to declare zero income for YA 2021.

1 year ago
Reply to  Pang Tun Yau

the answer i need the most… thanks for sharing

1 year ago

I was retrenched in Dec 2020. and already got my surat penyelesaian cukai from lhdn.
From Jan 2021 until Dec 2021 I worked for a friend who is doing a small kampung business.
He pays me monthly but there is no proper record, there is also no epf, socso.
Do I have to declare the income received?

1 year ago

In 2021 within a year, I resigned from one job and joined another job and resigned again (not working until now). How to do file my tax? Thank you in advance.

Loong Chan
1 year ago

I was retrench after serving 10 years for the company last year. does this mean I’ll be able to get 200K of tax exemption for lost of employment in 2021. Could you pls share the link to the said increased by the government. thanks

1 year ago

I have done my tax clearance in early Jan 2022 due to a retrenchment. Am I still required to do my tax filing for YA2021?

1 year ago

May I know which column in BE form can I put the amount of the retrenchment money I received from my previous employer, and which column can I put in the compensation year (e.g. RM20,000 x years of service) so that it will be deducted as tax exemption?

Thank you for you help.

1 year ago
Reply to  fara

Appreciate if someone can enlighten this issue

11 months ago
Reply to  fara

The amount of retrenchment received is included in the “statutory income of employment”.
The computation will be like:
Amount of compensation a
Less: Amount exempted (RM20,000 x years of completed service) (b)
= Taxable compensation c

If the Amount exempted > Amount of compensation, then Taxable compensation would be 0.
So, C will be included as part of B1 Statutory income from employment.

Hope this is clear and do correct me if it is wrong.

Jenny Ong
1 year ago

My brother was asked to resign and company paid him RM40k+. Income tax deduction is RM7688.10
while i was helping him to e-filing , it shows the only amount that is overpaid is RM393.25 in Y2021.
My brother is currently jobless and does not have any income. Will LHDN return the remaining sum when we do e-filing for Y2022?

11 months ago

This article does not Illustrate with clarity How to fill BE form for job loss compensation. There are many enquiries posted…

Top Featured Articles
Top Featured Articles
Post Image
Best Fixed Deposit Accounts In Malaysia – March 2023
- 1st March 2023
We provide monthly updates on the best fixed deposit rates in Malaysia with tables showing the top 5 rates for the duration of 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.
Post Image
Malaysia Personal Income Tax Guide 2021 (YA 2020)
Jacie Tan
- 25th March 2021
NOTE: This is the income tax guide for the year of assessment 2020. If you are filing your taxes […]
Post Image
Everything You Should Claim For Income Tax Relief Malaysia 2021 (YA 2020)
Jacie Tan
- 12th March 2021
Editor’s note: this guide is for YA 2020. Visit our latest YA 2021 guide here. When filing our taxes […]
Post Image
Historical EPF Dividend Rates
- 6th March 2023
Ever wondered how this year's EPF dividend rate compares to previous years? We got you covered with our historical 11-year chart!

Related articles

Related Posts Image

How To File Income Tax For Your Side Business

Jacie Tan -
2nd February 2021
Related Posts Image
Related Posts Image
Related Posts Image

How To File Your Taxes For The First Time

Jacie Tan -
2nd February 2021