Sin Chew Daily
The Internal Revenue Department has been very actively going after tax evaders in recent years. In its latest move, LHDN is prepared to increase the fine from 45% to 100% of the arrears effective January 1, 2018.
The increased penalty should serve to curtail any tax evasion attempt and ensure that companies and individuals pay their due taxes honestly.
In addition, LHDN will also set up a 200-member civil legal branch tasked with the mission of hauling up defaulters to court beginning May 1.
Earlier, the authorities have completed taxation auditing on 30 large companies, including MNCs, involving some RM2.2 billion in lost revenue due to tax avoidance and penalties.
For five consecutive days beginning April 10, LHDN will also mobilize more than 2,000 officials for the RM127.7 billion Ops Gegar Bersepadu (G127B) to round up tax defaulters. All these point to the fact that LHDN is serious about recovering lost tax revenue.
It is impossible to get every company and individual to pay their taxes honestly. Indeed, no countries in this world can do this effectively. However, the government must still introduce variouis effective measures to stop tax evasions and defaults to ensure that the national coffers get more revenue for the country's development.
Tax revenue is the single most important factor in a country's development. Shortchanges in tax revenue will make it difficult for the government to implement development projects and improve the existing infrastructure. If the government has sufficient tax revenue to implement the various projects, the overall market will be enlivened to stimulate economic expansion and boost the living standard of Malaysians.
LHDN statistics show that tax revenue amounted to RM114 billion last year, making up about 52.51% of the government's total revenue. We can see from here that tax collection is of utmost importance in maintaining the government's operation and propelling the country's development.
Paying income tax is an inevasible obligation of all Malaysians. We must instill in ourselves this awareness to make sure that the country's development can be sustained under relatively healthy fiscal conditions.
Unfortunately many people have attempted to evade their responsibilities, and this phenomenon is universal all over the world.
Tax evaders or underpayers can be basically divided into two types: those unaware of their taxation responsibilities or the need to pay; and those who do so on purpose.
To the latter, the government must adopt stringent measures to pursue them to prevent a massive drain of tax revenue. As for the former, the authorities must step up its awareness campaign to educate the public so that they will understand their obligation as responsible citizens as well as the importance of tax collection to the country's development.
In short, we all have an obligation to pay our taxes while the government has the responsibility of harnessing the tax revenue to develop the country.