Are tax evaders also stealing from the country? Yes, although their sins are of a lesser degree by comparison.
The government’s list of top 100 tax defaulters has put many rich and famous in jitters.
As a matter of fact, not only those in power, many in the T20 income group are also thrown into sleepless nights by the news.
According to Inland Revenue Board CEO Mohd Nizom Sairi, other than those in high government offices, the T20 community will also be checked for honest tax declaration.
In other words, if they are serious about pursuing tax evaders, tens of thousands could be involved nationwide!
Let’s first talk about those honest T20 wage earners. So long as the companies they serve declare their incomes frankly, that shouldn’t be a problem of tax evasion at all.
But the thing is, not every taxpayer will keep the invoices for seven years after submitting their tax returns, just in case LHDN asks for a re-check.
What if unluckily you get picked by the LHDN and you can’t find the evidence for the exemptions you have claimed?
If you really had the intention of evading your tax dues, then it serves you right, but what if you lost all the invoices, you only have yourself to blame!
We would like to propose to the LHDN to start with companies and individuals yet to complete their tax declarations.
According to Mohd Nizom, statistics show that as many as 31,598 individuals and companies had yet to submit their tax returns as of last June, causing the treasury to lose a total of RM665 million in tax revenue.
If that is the case, then they should go after these people immediately!
While this amount is not really that big, the actual amount of tax evasion could be very much higher than this. Otherwise, PM Anwar Ibrahim would not have mentioned “tax evasion” and “corruption” almost every month!
While attending the ceremony marking the 27th anniversary of the establishment of LHDN on March 6, Anwar encouraged the LHDN to go after tax evaders.
He hoped that everyone — be it a peddler or a senior government official, a friend or a supporter of his own party — must all abide by the country’s laws and not evade their tax dues.
During a recent interview with Sin Chew Daily, Mohd Nizom said the LHDN would start going after tax-evading rich people in response to the call by the prime minister, including 100 well-known personalities.
He also said those leading a lifestyle not matching the taxes paid would have to watch out, as they may have been singled out by the LHDN!
The PM also said in mid-March that LHDN had to make sure that all top earners in the country pay their dues conscientiously, and must initiate probes on individuals named in RSF’s “Pandora Papers.”
Of the total 11.9 million classified documents, as many as 10,000 involved the rich and famous in Malaysia. These people should be investigated so that their names can be cleared if they have not done anything wrong.
Several days ago, the MACC investigated a former minister and a local businessman with the “Tan Sri” title based on the “Pandora Papers” revelations. They were suspected of misappropriating RM2.3 billion of the country’s funds.
The PM has over and again emphasized that he would never compromise on kleptocrats stealing from the national coffers. No matter how tough the mission could be, the government vows to weed out corruption and stop government leaders from siphoning public funds into their personal bank accounts.
What about tax evaders? Are they also stealing from the country? Yes, although their sins are of a lesser degree by comparison.
Due to confidentiality, Mohd Nizom said he could not divulge more about the tax defaulters being pursued by the authorities.
He also said every Malaysian above the age of 18 will have a Tax Identification Number (TIN), and as such no one can escape from the LHDN’s watchful eyes.
The LHDN’s computer system can easily trace a Malaysian’s purchases of properties, cars, etc. in this country. You will need to provide good reasons if what you buy doesn’t seem to match the income you have declared.
In other words, anyone purchasing a property will not be able to escape if you fail to declare your income.