50,000 firms yet to register GST

Some 50,000 eligible companies and institutions have yet to register for the goods and services tax (GST), although there’s only a week left to do so, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

“We are aware of the businesses that are supposed to register for GST, but why have they still refused to do so?

“This has raised some suspicion,” he said after giving a talk on GST to members of the Welfare Association of Ministers’ Wives (Bakti) here yesterday.

Ahmad said the companies were identified based on the Inland Revenue Board’s (IRB) tax files, which revealed the 50,000 companies were earning more than RM500,000 annually.

“Notices have been issued to these companies to register for GST, and they cannot blame us when compounds are issued to them for not registering,” he added.

Ahmad said companies that fail to register by the end of this month would be slapped with a RM15,000 compound on March 1.

So far, 317,000 businesses have registered with the Customs Department to pave the way for the implementation of GST on April 1.

He said the number of businesses that registered had surpassed the ministry’s initial target of 300,000.

“Owing to this, revenue for the Government is estimated to increase by RM1bil from the initial estimate of RM23bil to RM24bil in the first nine months of the implementation of GST,” he added.

On a separate issue, Ahmad said the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consu­merism Ministry should consider Bakti’s proposal for a price guide for those providing services such as tailors, hairstylists, beauticians, plumbers, physiotherapists and electricians in order to curb overcharging in the post-GST period.

Earlier, during a question and answer session, Bakti’s president Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor informed Ahmad that some hairstylists charge up to RM800 for hair colouring, while Puan Sri Maniseh Adam, who is also the Pink Ribbon campaign patron, complained that a private hospital had recently raised prices of medication for breast cancer from RM500 to RM700 a month.

Ahmad said at present, 2,900 basic medicines were GST exempt, while the Health Ministry has yet to finalise the list of exempted items with the Customs Department.

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