THE Malaysian commerce landscape has another 13 months to go until the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), the consumption tax that will replace the existing sales and service taxes, and yet, many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are still unaware of what is required of them.
“We hold GST workshops for SMEs and the two most frequent questions we heard are: ‘Will the GST really be implemented this time?’ and ‘Will this affect my business?’, which shows that people are still unaware of what is required of them,” YYC Tax Services Sdn Bhd tax director Elaine Wong told Business Times.
She said most people are not confident that the GST will be implemented on April 1 next year.
“Most people who come to us are reluctant to undergo the exercise and the system changes that come with GST, either believing or hoping that the government will do away with GST again as it did in the past.
“But this time, it is for real and with another 13 months to go, these companies do not have time to waste,” added Wong.
Yap Shin Siang, a partner at the tax firm, agrees with Wong.
“A whole new system is set to come in and they need to know what changes they have to make. Putting it off is bad for business and can land them in hot water with the government.”
She said mum-and-pop shops and food operators that are not charging the six per cent service tax but are making more than RM500,000 in revenue per annum will be most affected.
“These places, like your neighbourhood nasi ayam shop, are probably making more than RM500,000 a year.
“Right now, they are not charging the six per cent tax but when GST comes into effect, they will need to,” she said.
A number of tax agencies, including YYC, have begun offering GST implementation seminars for SMEs to minimise the confusion come April 1 next year.
Wong said YYC provides seminars for small groups and its clients will usually invite their own clients and suppliers to attend the seminar.
“This way, all will know what their roles are. Education and awareness are the keys to making SMEs’ transition into the GST system as seamless as possible,” she added.