GST refund arrears to be settled by year-end

The Customs Department will take a ‘pay first and audit later’ approach for GST refunds for selected companies. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The finance ministry will settle the goods and services tax (GST) refund arrears totalling RM4.763 billion by year-end.

Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah gave this assurance in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He attributed the process delay to invalid bank registrant information and failure of registrants to respond and submit the relevant documents for verification.

According to him, RM1.479 billion was approved for GST refund claims between June 22 and July 8.

“The government in an announcement on June 15 agreed for the Customs Department to take a ‘pay first and audit later’ approach for selected companies based on the Goods and Services Tax (Repeal) Act 2018 and certain criteria,” he said during the question-and-answer session.

“The government hopes that this decision can alleviate the cash flow of the various business sectors in this very challenging economic recovery period.”

Shahar said the ministry was mobilising its staff to ensure that none of the affected companies were neglected.

He said the companies concerned were divided into two categories – those claiming refunds of RM100,000 and below, and those claiming RM100,000 and more.

“We refer to the Public Accounts Committee Report on July 15, 2019 that there was no robbery of the GST money and, secondly, the money was used for national development.

“As recommended in the report, the ministry and Customs Department are refining the GST collection and refund processes,” he said.