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More items to be exempted from SST by year end

More items especially food and beverage related products are expected to be exempted from Sales and Service Tax (SST) by the end of this year.

Ernst & Young Tax Consultants Sdn Bhd director Jalbir Singh said more goods from the F&B segment would be gazetted and exempted from the tax.

“Food-related products are expected to get exempted after this because there are still many items from this category that are not excluded yet.

“The government is concerned with the problems that people are facing especially the cost of living, so this exemption will take into account of the middle income group (M40) and below (B40),” he said after the Masterclass Forum: Impact of GST on SST by CPA Malaysia and The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd here today.

To date, a total of 5,443 items are exempted from SST, compared to 500 items during the GST regime. A total of 5,612 items are subject to 10 per cent sales tax and more than 600 items will be imposed with sales tax of five per cent.

The session was also attended by two other panelists namely Malayan Banking Bhd head of group tax and performance reporting Surin Segarand Deloitte country indirect tax leader Tan Eng Yew, facilitated by NSTP convergence editor (Business) Ahmad Lokman Mansor.

The experts said confusion remained over SST as companies make a shift to the new tax regime.

They urged the government to continue to improve on grey areas in ensuring a more efficient tax system.

“There should be more clarity and more definitions in the tax treatment,” Surin said.

Jalbir said the businesses need a period of two to three months to adapt with the new tax system.

“We can only see and evaluate its success as early as January 2019 and for the time being it gives them the opportunity to make adjustments and transitions,” he said.

  • New Straits Times