Starting from January 2021, all Malaysians above the age of 18 and corporate entities will be assigned a Tax Identification Number (TIN), said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah in his address at the Malaysia Tax Policy forum.
According to Amiruddin, this initiative is meant to ensure that no one will be able to avoid their tax obligations, while providing justice to those who have been paying their taxes responsibly.
While the government has yet to share much information regarding the TIN initiative, independent tax expert Veerinderjeet Singh said that it is essentially an automatically assigned tax number.
“Internationally, TIN is a term used for a tax file number. But instead of requiring a person to come forward and obtain a tax file number, the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) will allocate a tax number automatically,” Veerinderjeet said.
If successfully implemented, the government would be able to make automatic tax registration of both individuals and corporations to facilitate real-time reporting, which makes it difficult for them to evade their taxes. Tax experts also believe that this move will help to increase the number of registered taxpayers, reduce tax arbitrage activities, and prevent losses in government revenue.
To ensure smooth implementation of the initiative, however, the government needs to first engage all participating stakeholders. Amiruddin noted that these engagement sessions will be carried out this year.
“There is an urgent need for strong capacity to tax in order to carry out the policies that we have outlined, as taxation provides a stable and adjustable source of revenue that can be mobilised if needed,” he said.
Amiruddin also mentioned that the government is expecting to collect RM244.5 billion in revenue this year, which is an increase of RM11.2 billion from 2019.
The TIN initiative was first announced during the tabling of Budget 2020 by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
(Source: Malay Mail)