Not true, says Inland Revenue Board of Mahathir’s claim

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PETALING JAYA: The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has refuted claims that it raids offices of opposition supporters and makes baseless demands for additional corporate tax.

Speaking to FMT, LHDN chief executive officer Sabin Samitah said if any taxpayer was dissatisfied with their assessment after an audit or investigation, they could make an appeal to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax (SCIT) within 30 days.

In a recent blog post, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in repeating his allegation that government agencies, including the LHDN, were targetting opposition supporters, said the agency had been squeezing opposition supporters for additional corporate tax.

Sabin added that SCIT was an independent body which had the authority to listen to any objections by the taxpayers.

“The SCIT’s decision can also be appealed at the High Court or the Court of Appeal. The rights and interests of taxpayers are well protected under the Income Tax Act 1967.”

Sabin also said that LHDN doesn’t disclose information on individuals or companies that are being audited or investigated as it was bound by the secrecy provision under Section 138 of the Income Tax Act 1967.

On Mahathir’s claims that the LHDN was targetting opposition supporters, Sabin said LHDN’s case selection for enforcement purposes was based solely on a company or individual’s failure to comply with existing tax laws.

“LHDN doesn’t keep records of race, religion, what more, of the political inclination of individuals in its database because such information doesn’t assist in the risk analysis of a case.”

In his blog post, Mahathir, the Pakatan Harapan chairman, had lamented that opposition parties were unable to raise sufficient funds for their activities as the government had put the squeeze on its donors.

He claimed people with the means and willingness to donate to opposition parties were being threatened and pressured, including by the LHDN, police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mahathir also claimed that if the LHDN’s “targets” refused to pay up, their companies would be blacklisted, and their accounts and records seized which would paralyse their business.