Professionals the next target for IRB audits


CYBERJAYA: Inland Revenue Board (IRB) chief executive officer Sabin Samitah today revealed that the professional group will be the next to be targeted in upcoming audit operations.

He said the operation, which would kick off in September or October, would focus on professionals such as lawyers, architects, engineers and doctors.

“I would like to advise them that if they have tax problems, it is best for them to come forward now,” he said in a press conference at the IRB headquarters in Cyberjaya.

Sabin added that the nationwide operation known as “Ops Saji” currently being conducted was not a mission to go after petty traders.

“There has probably been some miscommunication where the IRB was made to look as if it is going after petty traders. That is not what we are doing,” he said.

According to Sabin, the operation is conducted on all shops to clarify whether the shop owners are registered.

“They don’t have to worry if their business cost is high. That is allowed as expenses, so they have nothing to pay.”

He said there were many large restaurants that did not properly declare their taxes, adding that these were the ones the IRB would be looking to audit.

However, he did not reveal the estimated figures for Ops Saji as the operation is ongoing.

IRB deputy chief executive officer (compliance) Abdul Manap Dim previously said Ops Saji would focus on the food industry chain, including restaurants, caterers and cafeterias, as well as food processing and food business-related activities.

The operation which began on Aug 14 involves three activities, namely business census tours, tax audits and tax investigations.

Manap said the IRB would interview owners of business premises, gather business information and check if the business was registered with the board.

“After that, a thorough audit review on companies and individuals carrying out food-related businesses will be conducted, and they may face additional assessments and penalties if they are found to have submitted wrong assessments,” he said.

According to him, the penalty rate would be 45%-100% of the amount of under-declared tax.

On a separate note, Sabin said there had been some disruption in the revenue collection for petroleum, which was initially supposed to reach RM8 billion a year based on estimations submitted by Petronas.

However, Sabin said to-date, only RM3 billion had been paid, adding that the RM8 billion target might be difficult to reach.

He said the total collection of taxes made by the IRB was 2.7% higher than last year.