Tax refunds: LHDN says individuals first, others must wait

PUTRAJAYA: The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has processed more than 90% of the current year tax refunds for individual taxpayers as at July 31 this year.

Its chief executive officer, Sabin Samitah, said due to a shortfall in the Tax Refunds Trust Fund (TBBC), priority for tax refunds would be given to current year taxpayers who had overpaid their income tax.

“As for the other categories of taxpayers, the refunds still cannot be made as there is no additional allocation to the fund,” he said in a statement today.

Sabin also confirmed Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement that there was a shortage of transfers from the direct tax revenue collected to the TBBC.

Lim, on Wednesday, claimed that the previous government had failed to refund RM16.046 billion in overpaid income tax and property gains tax over the past six years, which was due to 1,653,786 companies, individuals, associations and foundations as at May 31 this year.

The balance in the TBBC as at May 31 this year was only RM1.486 billion, based on the records of the Accountant-General’s Department, Lim added.

Sabin said in line with the government’s aspiration, IRB would give due consideration to applications from taxpayers with tax credits to pay off the tax payable for the current year.

“Taxpayers must submit these set-off applications to the IRB’s branch which manages their tax files.

“For taxpayers who do not apply for set-off, their refunds will be processed depending on the allocation approved for the TBBC and the government’s financial position,” he said.

Sabin said as the government was reeling from more than RM1 trillion in debts, the finance minister was looking for financial resources to make the repayments either next year or subsequent years.

As a reminder to taxpayers, especially in the corporate sector, he said several steps could be taken to avoid the need to make the repayments, such as ensuring that the tax deducted was calculated as accurately as possible.

If a company finds that the current tax estimate is lower than the original tax estimate, he said the company may make amendments in the sixth or ninth months of its business.

“Individuals with income from business sources may make amendments to the instalment amount if they find that the current tax estimate is lower than the original estimate.

“The amendment must be made not later than June 30 for the relevant assessment year,” he said.

Sabin also said IRB would give full cooperation to the police in their investigation into reports pertaining to the issue of outstanding income tax refunds.