Tuesday October 18, 2011
Tax payers to feel pinch as Govt increases compliance enforcement
By FINTAN NG
PETALING JAYA: Tax payers will start to feel the pinch as the Government intensifies efforts to increase compliance via several amendments to the Income Tax Act 1967 as part of measures to reform the country's finances.
However, tax specialists felt that there should be more open discussions on the amendments before they were tabled in parliament as the proposed changes could have far reaching repercussions to tax payers.
Sources said that one of the amendments was to Section 81 of the Act which would allow the director-general (D-G) of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to disregard any information or particulars produced by tax payers upon the expiry period for them to produce their tax information.
The amendment also stipulates that tax payers cannot dispute the assessment made under the Act before special commissioners or a court of law.
The amended Act would have a new section called 107D whereby the D-G could direct a person to make payment via instalments before the issuance of an assessment or composite assessment should there be reason to believe that he or she has made an incorrect return by omitting or understating any income.
Sources told StarBiz that the amendments would erode the basic rights of tax payers and they would find it more difficult to make an appeal with the changes.
“These are draconian measures to increase the powers of the IRD,” a source said.
He said that under section 107D, tax payers would be directed to pay an amount deemed necessary for that assessment year which “is basically collecting taxes before an assessment”.
He added that the amendment to Section 81 would mean that tax payers who produced documents after the stipulated time would not be able to use this to support their appeals in court.
“While there have been cases where people produce documents late, the IRB has been flexible on certain occasions. This amendment is excessive,” he said.
The Government had embarked on a programme of simultaneous economic and government reforms with the strategic reform initiatives (SRIs) as part of measures to boost competitiveness.
Among the SRIs identified was public finance reform to increase the effectiveness and transparency of public sector financial management.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had during his speech to introduce Budget 2012 said enforcement measures would be enhanced through the implementation of integrated operations with other relevant agencies as part of measures to have an efficient tax administrative system.