Malaysian Inland Revenue Board – the need to obtain legitimate tax agent services
The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRBM) has on 26 November 2015, released a media announcement to advise all taxpayers to seek services from legitimate and entitled tax agents in law who are approved by the Malaysian Finance Minister under Section 153(3) of the Income Tax Act 1967 (ITA 1967) to manage their tax matters.
The below were highlighted by IRBM among the disadvantages in seeking services of illegitimate tax agents:-
- Illegitimate tax agents may cause taxpayers to receive inaccurate or unclear tax advises in respect of provisions of the law of taxation including the preparation of Income Tax Return Form (ITRF) which does not comply with the provisions of tax law;
- Illegitimate tax agents will not be responsible on taxpayers in the event of legal actions are taken against them on any offences or penalties imposed;
- Illegitimate tax agents shall not represent taxpayers if audit or investigation is conducted by IRBM; and
- Illegitimate tax agents shall not represent taxpayers in dispute resolution in front of the Special Commissioners of Income Tax.
IRBM also reminded parties not to simply act as a legitimate tax agents. Only legitimate tax agents should be granted approval by the Finance Minister under section 153(3) of ITA 1967. In this regard, any party who outlaw the regulation is against the provision of section 153(1) under ITA 1967. Prosecution shall be imposed in accordance with the provision of subsection 120(1)(d) of the same Act, and upon conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than RM200 and not more than RM2000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
In addition, prosecution under the provision of subsection 114(1A) of ITA 1967, an offence of any person who assists in, or advises with respect to the preparation of any return where the return results in an understatement of the liability for tax of another person and if convicted, one shall be liable to a fine of not less than RM2000 and not more than RM20000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, or both.
As of record, there are currently more than 1,902 legitimate tax agents and have been granted approval by the Malaysian Finance Minister to serve. Therefore, taxpayers must be cautious and obtain confirmation from IRBM, if necessary, pertaining to seeking legitimate tax agent services. Taxpayers may check the list of legitimate tax agents and information such as the agent’s name, firms/companies, address as well as tax agent’s phone number and validity of approval by the Finance Minister at IRBM’s official portal www.hasil.gov.my.
Date: 17 December 2015