Notify GST defaulters of travel ban, says SUPP

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PETALING JAYA: The Customs department must serve notices warning business owners that they face a travel ban if they do not pay the GST that is due, says Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).

SUPP Youth Central publicity secretary Milton Foo said though there were laws empowering the Immigration director-general to issue a travel ban without giving any reason upon receiving a request from the customs department, there should be fairness and natural justice, The Borneo Post reported.

“Advance notice should be issued to the person to notify him or her of the travel ban,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Foo was commenting on the recent announcement by customs department director-general Subromaniam Tholasy that business owners and directors of companies that had an outstanding GST payment would be barred from going abroad.

He said 7,143 traders were now barred from leaving the country for failing to pass on the consumption tax collected from consumers to his department.

“If the trader has cleared off the GST, the customs department will immediately request for the immigration department to remove the particular trader’s name from the blacklist,” Subromaniam was quoted as saying by a local Chinese daily.

Foo turned the tables on the customs department, asking if it had refunded the GST input tax for businesses which are waiting for the refund from the department.

He said if there was a penalty against a person for failing to settle the GST by imposing the travel ban, then there must equally be a remedy against the customs department for failing to refund, or for the delay in refunding, the GST input tax.