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Malaysia’s GST will be zero-rated effective 1 June 2018

After debunking a false release that GST will be abolised, the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia has declared that the goods and services tax (GST) will be zero-rated from 1 June.

According to the official release posted on the official Ministry of Finance Facebook page, this will cover both local and imported goods and services. GST isn’t abolished but its current 6% rate will reduce to 0% effective 1 June 2018 nationwide until further notice. This excludes goods and services that are currently GST exempted.

The release also mentions that all registered businesses must follow the new zero rating and they must adhere to the current practice of issuing tax invoices, submission of tax statements and claiming of input tax credit.

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has also shared the same post from the Ministry of Finance. For further clarification, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department is reachable at 1 300 88 8500 or 03-7806 7200.

So what does this mean to the rest of us? At the moment, Malaysian prepaid users get instant GST refund after topping up however the 6% tax is still applicable for postpaid mobile and broadband users. With this new zero-rated GST, this could mean slightly lower bill cost and price reduction for smartphone, tablets and pretty much all goods and services that are currently imposed with the 6% GST.

It is worth pointing out that GST isn’t abolished yet and at the time of writing, there’s still no official announcement of reintroducing the previous Sales and Services Tax (SST) in Malaysia. The current Pakatan Harapan administration had promised to replace GST with SST so this could be a first step to that direction. Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who is one of the five-member Council of Eminent Persons had mentioned that the decision to abolish GST is final and work is in progress towards abolition.

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Will this affect your current purchase decision? Let us know in the comments below.

Alexander Wong