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SST on Prepaid: RM10 reload gets you RM9.43 of credit

UPDATE: We’ve updated this post to include SST details from Yes 4G, U Mobile and Tune Talk.

UPDATE 2: Lim Guan Eng says prepaid users should get RM10 credit with RM10 top up.

UPDATE 3: Yes has updated their SST FAQ. RM10 top ups are sold at RM10 and you’ll only get RM9.43 of credit.

UPDATE 4: Prepaid services are officially exempted from SST beginning 6 September 2018. More details here.

The Sales and Services Tax, or better known as the SST will take effect in Malaysia starting 1st September 2018. This replaces the current Goods and Services Tax which was zero-rated since June 2018.

So what happens to mobile prepaid services in Malaysia? We’ve checked with the local telcos and basically, you’ll get slightly less credit for all reloads or top ups effective 1st September 2018. In short, a RM10 top up will only give you RM9.43 of credit. To cushion the blow, most telcos are throwing a little bit of extra freebies for every new top up.

Before 1st September, if you top up RM10, you’ll get RM10 of credit. This will change starting tomorrow as all prepaid reloads are subject to 6% deduction. If you’re wondering why RM0.57 was deducted instead of RM0.60 for a RM10 top up, it’s because the reload is inclusive of both credit and 6% SST (6% of RM9.43 is RM0.57).

Hotlink (Maxis Prepaid)

For Hotlink, what you’ll get is the same as illustrated above. However, they are giving free minutes depending on your top up amount. For example:

RM5-9 top up – 2 minutes
RM10-19 top up – 5 minutes
RM20-29 top up – 10 minutes
RM30-59 top up – 15 minutes
RM60-99 top up – 30 minutes
RM100 and above – 60 minutes

Do note that the free calls are only valid for Maxis and Hotlink numbers, and it’s valid only for two days. Each subscriber can only accumulate a maximum of 300 free minutes. More details on Hotlink’s SST implementation here.

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Digi Prepaid

For Digi, the SST deduction for the prepaid reload is also the same but instead of giving free calls, they are giving free data. Below is the breakdown for its free data offer and it’s only valid for one day:

Less than RM10 – 50MB
RM10-29 – 100MB
RM30-49 – 300MB
RM50-99 – 500MB
RM100 and above – 1GB

Xpax (Celcom Prepaid)

Xpax is also giving free voice calls too but in a form of Free Airtime Bonus that’s equivalent to the 6% SST deduction. The bonus airtime is valid for only 24 hours. When we contacted Xpax’s customer service hotline, we are told that the free call bonus is open to all networks, however, their website states that it can only be used for on-net (within Celcom and Xpax network) usage.

You can check it out yourself in the T&C under XPAX SST Reload Freebies.

U Mobile

U Mobile’s prepaid top up is also subject to 6% SST. For a limited time, they are giving 10% extra credit for U Mobile to U Mobile calls and it is valid for 1 day. For example, if you top up RM10, you’ll get RM9.43 plus RM1.00 for calls within U Mobile network.

More details on their FAQ.

Yes 4G

UPDATE: Turns out that Yes also deducts credit for SST like everyone else and they have updated their FAQ to reflect this. A RM10 top up on Yes 4G will only give you RM9.43 in credit.

Similar to some other telcos, Yes 4G is also giving free data that’s valid for 24 hours. RM10 will give you 200MB of free data while RM30 gives you 600MB of free data.
NEW FAQ

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Surprisingly, Yes 4G does not deduct your credit like the other telcos. Instead, they are charging 6% SST on top of their existing top up amount. So a RM10 top up would cost you RM10.60.

OLD FAQ

More details here.

TuneTalk

Tune Talk has also updated their top up page and they’ve mentioned that their top ups come with SST included. They didn’t provide any examples of SST deductions and there’s no mention of extra freebies in their FAQ.

Unifi Mobile

For Unifi Mobile‘s #BEBAS prepaid plan, they are also subjected to 6% SST and you’ll also get less value from your top up as illustrated earlier. Interestingly, TM is giving free data and true to its “Kredit tak mati” proposition, the free data will never expire as long as your account remains active.

If you reload RM30, you’ll get 200MB of data while RM100 gives you 700MB of data. The free data is only valid on their 4G LTE network and is only applicable to Malaysian subscribers. It’s worth pointing out that this will be offered as a promotion between 1 September until 31 December 2018.

You can learn more in their announcement and FAQ under the Unifi Mobile #BEBAS section.

Is this the best way to implement SST for prepaid?

Since what you top up will not be exactly what you get, this can be annoying for those who top up exactly how much they would need. If you’re currently topping up RM30 every month just to activate a RM30 data plan, you are soon required to top up slightly more in order to get at least RM30 in your balance.

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The current implementation could be done in haste just to meet the SST dateline and there’s a small possibility that the mechanism may change just like GST.

When GST was introduced on 1 April 2015, all prepaid top ups were charged 6% extra on top of their reload amount. So a RM10 top up costs RM10.60 at the cashier, but at least you’re assured that you’re getting RM10 of credit in your prepaid account.

Slightly over a month after GST was implemented, the GST amount was later factored into the top up amount like this current SST situation. The previous government had also announced that Malaysians can enjoy GST exemption for mobile prepaid usage. As a result, any GST deducted will be refunded automatically after each reload, so a RM10 top up gives you RM10 of credit.

UPDATE: We’ve updated this post to include SST details from Yes 4G, U Mobile and Tune Talk. Yes 4G is the only telco so far that charges SST on top of the reload amount.

If you’re using prepaid, perhaps it’s better to top up before midnight tonight. What do you guys think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Alexander Wong