Malaysia collected RM400 million digital service tax in 2020

The Malaysian government has collected RM428.07 million so far from digital taxes since it was enforced from 1st January 2020. This was revealed by Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri when winding up the debate on the Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2020 at Dewan Negara.

The Deputy Minister said the digital tax is a new source of revenue for the country and it will be enhanced in the future. He said the collection is not only imposed on local digital service providers but they have also started efforts to impose the tax on foreign providers.

The tax was announced by former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng during the tabling of Budget 2019. All digital services including online advertising, gaming, streaming and cloud services are subject to 6% tax since 1st January this year. Following the announcement, most digital providers such as Google, Netflix, Adobe, PlayStation Store, Facebook and AWS have revised their respective subscription prices to include the 6% digital tax.

When the tax was introduced, former Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said the 6% rate was one of the lowest as other countries have imposed higher tax on digital services. He said Russia imposes an 18% tax, Norway at 25% and New Zealand at 15%.

On a separate matter, the current Deputy Finance Minister also shared while most Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds have been reimbursed, about RM1.87 billion have been not paid yet. He explained that this was due to some matters that need to be resolved. The Deputy Minister also said the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) have always carried out field audits to ensure that taxpayers pay the proper amount of taxes and to avoid leaks.

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