PETALING JAYA — Malaysia’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) system is among the best in the world, said KPMG China, Asia Pacific Regional Leader, Lachlan Wolfers.
“The Royal Malaysian Customs Department is extremely well prepared and information that they have provided for taxpayers is world class,” he told the media at the KPMG Malaysia Tax Summit 2014 here.
“Having had experience in the implementation of the GST in Australia, I say that the Customs Department is well prepared, if not better than what I saw at the comparable stage in Australia,” he said.
Wolfers said the challenges in Australia were remarkably similar and were encapsulated in a simple phrase that the GST is not just a tax change, but a change that affected daily businesses, and tax experts were not the only ones that needed to understand the system.
“The key challenge is the nature of GST is interdependent, it is not enough for companies to tackle their own GST issues, they need to understand how it affects their customers and suppliers.
“They need to ensure their upstream and downstream activities are ready for GST and that is why registration at an early stage is absolutely critical,” Wolfers said.
Meanwhile, Executive Director – GST Initiative Indirect Tax Leader, Bob Kee concurred with Wolfers that companies needed to get started on the GST implementation.
“A lot of businesses in Malaysia don’t understand GST well enough and for those that think they understand, they often underestimate the complexity involved,” said Kee.
“If you set aside GST technical complexities, the actual implementation itself can be time consuming and requires effort.
“There is a lot of time to make the system, processes and document changes and if you delay it longer, there won’t be enough time, as our experience shows that even for the simplest business, GST implementation can take up to six months,” Kee said.