Social Media Users Cry Foul over Likely GST for Netflix and iflix

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Expect to pay GST for more online services to fill the Government’s coffer.

  • Resentment that scope of GST being extended too far
  • GST on other online apps may be tabled in the upcoming Budget 2018
  • Customs Department confident of collecting RM42b from GST, RM1b more than last year
  • Subromaniam warned of stern action from Jan 1 next year against traders and company owners for failing to declare GST


Brace yourselves to pay GST for online entertainment streaming services such as Netflix and iflix.

According to the Customs Department, it will be under the proposed amendments to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act which will include the digital economy.

The latest amendments to the GST Act had been submitted to the Finance Ministry and are expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat later this month.

“We need a modern, comprehensive and progressive taxation system to tax revenue from the digital economy,” Director-general Datuk Seri T Subromaniam said yesterday. 

The Customs Department had proposed amendments to the GST Act that would include foreign companies that do online business with Malaysian customers.

At present, Malaysians do not have to pay GST when they purchase products from e-commerce sites.

Among other online applications that could see consumers having to pay the GST are ride-sharing services Uber and Grab, and accommodation service AirBnB.

Subromaniam is hopeful the amendments would be tabled in the upcoming Budget 2018.

He said the amendments would allow the government to tap a market segment worth “billions of ringgit”.

In response to the proposed move to impose GST on Netflix and iflix, social media users are crying foul, saying that the scope of the tax was being extended too far.

On a separate matter, Subromaniam said he is optimistic of achieving the department’s target of getting an additional RM1bil from GST in the last quarter of the year.

He said with this, the department would meet its targeted GST collection of RM42bil for this year as part of its Key Performance Index.

“Last year, the department collected about RM41bil and we are confident that this year, we will exceed that amount. 

“And to achieve this target, the department will place its officers who will be GST ambassadors or representatives at associations and chambers of commerce nationwide from Oct 15 until Dec 31,” Subromaniam said.

He added that the move would help traders and company owners who had GST-linked problems, especially in making the correct declaration on the GST-03 statement.

“For a start, we will place our officers in the Klang Valley before extending to the rest of the country in stages, according to the needs and requests from the associations and chambers of commerce,” he said.

He also reminded traders and company owners to make use of the opportunities provided by the department before stern action was taken against them for failing to declare their GST statements from Jan 1 next year.


Related reports:

Sept 19, Online Shopping Sites to Be Taxed Soon

Aug 5, Najib Refutes GST-1MDB Link

Apr 26, Zero Percent GST if Pakatan in Putrajaya