RM7.9B GST, IRB Refunds Paid Out Since March 3

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The government has returned a total of RM7.9 billion of the outstanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Inland Revenue Board (IRB) owed payers, Lim Guan Eng told Parliament today.

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has refunded RM4 billion to 54,603 Goods and Services Tax (GST) registrants until March 3, 2019, while the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has paid out RM3.9 billion in income tax refunds until Feb 28, 2019.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the income tax refunds involved 75,776 cases, comprising 38,104 companies and 37,672 non-company cases.

He said the repayments were made after it received the RM8 billion special dividend from national oil company Petronas, as part of the total RM30 billion promised.

“This special dividend is one-off and this is already being paid to the government on an instalment basis,” he said during Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

“The tax refunds paid out showed that the Pakatan Harapan government has not misappropriated the (special) dividends from Petronas and is sincere in meeting the promise to return the tax refund arrears to the people and Malaysian companies,” he added.

Lim went on to share that as at March 4, the outstanding GST refund stood at RM22.14 billion – of which RM9.36 billion has been processed – across more than 298,457 statements by 168,839 registrants.

The figure was higher than the RM19.39 billion outstanding GST refund announced in May 2018 due to additional claims between May and December last year, he added.

After Pakatan Harapan seized federal power last year, Lim had revealed that RM18 billion in GST refunds had gone missing.

In August last year, he revealed that RM19.39 billion GST refunds had not been paid to over 120,000 companies, while there was only RM1.49 billion left in the repayment fund.

At the time, it was also revealed that there was a shortfall in the Tax Refunds Trust Fund under the IRB’s purview, which resulted in delay to repay RM16.05 billion worth of excess tax paid from up to six years ago.

The RM30 billion special dividend by Petronas was announced during Budget 2019 with the sole purpose of making up for the shortfalls in the two taxes refunds.

Lim said that Petronas and its subsidiaries also had GST refunds owing.

“The amount owing to them is RM4.2 billion.”