MMA to meet experts on claims of docs’ undeclared income

The-Malaysian-Medical-AssociationPETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) will meet medical, legal and accounting experts to address the recent issue of several doctors accused of wrongly declaring their income to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

MMA President Dr Ashok Zachariah Philip revealed they will meet the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), the Bar Council and a few accounting bodies this Saturday.

“After this, we will seek a meeting with the IRB as well to discuss the matter,” he said when contacted by FMT today.

Ashok said this after several private hospital doctors complained to the MMA that they were being hounded by the IRB for allegedly not settling their taxes in full.

According to Ashok, the doctors set up their own practice with the understanding that it would be more convenient for their tax planning.

“This is a normal practice. Doctors set up their own companies and then hire an accountant to advise them with taxes because we (doctors) don’t have the time and expertise to do so.

“For example, if you are sick, you will get a doctor’s advice and do as you are told, right? Same thing here, we get consultants to advise us on our income tax.

“It is not fair on them (doctors) as they were acting on the professional advice of the tax consultants they hired.”

He explained, however, that since the doctors had signed contracts with the hospitals using their own names rather than a company name, the IRB was now insisting they pay up.

Ashok also said the IRB were backdating the taxes owed to them from five years ago and were now applying for a 100 per cent penalty.

“If at that time they were not told about this problem with their companies, what is the rationale for backdating the taxes a total of five years?”