Govt to expand revenue base, maybe widen SST

FINANCE Minister Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz says widening the sales and services tax (SST) is one of the many options available to expand the government’s revenue base but the timing has to be right.

“We are examining various options to intensify our economy and the important thing is to expand the government’s revenue base. But it needs to be at the right timing because we need to consider the impact on the people, economy, cost of living and et cetera,” he said in an interview on BFM Radio today.

Tengku Zafrul said this when asked if the government is looking at widening and increasing the SST, following the expected improvement in the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, which is forecast to be between 5.5% and 8%.

He said that the ministry cannot discount any possibility or any avenues of taxation as long as it is fair taxation.

The government needs to optimise its existing tax collection, he said, adding that there are a lot of leakages that needed to be reviewed.

“We need to review the scope of taxes and how efficient is the current tax system,” he said.

Asked on the efficiency of the tax collection today, he said that it is ‘debatable’.

“We are considering measures as well to manage the shadow economy. But it is important that we take feedback from the businesses,” he added. – Oct 8, 2020

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