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Only 435 premises can charge 5% gov tax

9.22.2008


Report restaurants still charging service tax

PUTRAJAYA: Some restaurants are still charging service tax to its customers although the number of outlets permitted to do so has dropped sharply from 4,800 to only 435 premises since the Government raised the sales threshold to RM3mil.

Customs director-general Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Abdul Rahman said his department was aware of complaints by consumers. Customs officers have been making checks to ensure restaurant owners whose outlets did not meet the requirement would not charge their customers 5% service tax.

However, he said, not many people have come forward to make an official complaint on errant restaurant operators but they merely had gone to the press to air their displeasure.

“It is difficult for us to take appropriate action if we do not know the identity of the culprits. Therefore, we urge the public to come forward and provide us with information so we can act on it. My department is proactive and we do act on complaints but we need details,” he told reporters Wednesday after the launch of a seminar on Customs International Business Partnership by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha.

Even the director-general himself was not spared from being charged service tax by a restaurant operator and Rahman said his men were in the midst of investigating the case.

He said the public could go into the department’s website to check the names of restaurants which still have the licence to charge service tax and lodge their complaints by e-mailing the department.

Effective July 1, only 435 restaurants nationwide have the licence to collect service tax. A total of 4,800 outlets had to surrender their licence as they were no longer eligible to make the collection following the Government’s decision to increase the sales threshold level from RM500,000 to RM3mil a year.

On another matter, Rahman said Customs estimates the collection of import duty from motor vehicles to be RM8.5bil this year, while duties for cigarettes and alcohol would also be more this year at RM2.9bil and RM1.35bil respectively.

He also said between January and August, the department had registered 3,133 cases of smuggling involving goods worth RM95mil and taxes valued at RM162mil.

“With the high-tech gadgets, equipment and increased surveillance work, we have managed to cripple many smuggling attempts and will continue to do so,” he said.

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