GST Malaysia

How you can prepare for GST in Malaysia

The Malaysian Government proposes to introduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) sometime in year 2013.   To help you along, we have prepared a simple check list to assess your preparedness for Malaysian GST implementation.

GST will replace the existing Sales and Services Tax (SST).  GST will affect NOT ONLY accounting, finance, or tax personnel, but ALL levels of staff , including those from sales, operations, logistics and even human resource.

What can you to do prepare for the eventual introduction of GST?

GST in summary 

GST is a tax on domestic consumption.  Tax is paid when when money is spent (or consume) on goods and services.

GST will be a self-assessed tax which means you as a business owner will have to track the tax collected from customers (less the tax you paid on purchases)  and remit them to the government accordingly.

Is your business ready for GST? 

1. Are you able to categorise your business transactions?
This is the first step to understanding how the GST will affect your business.
You will need to understand what items in your business will be GST-liable,  GST- free and Input Taxed.

2. Have you analysed critical transition issues with your accountant?
Spend some time with your accountant to identify any potential issues that may arise when the new GST system comes in place (e.g. allocating transactions to the correct tax codes.)

3. Are you able to analyse the GST effect on business cash flows and prices?
Once you know the deadlines you have to submit tax payments to the authorities, you will have to ensure your customers’ payment terms are adjusted accordingly.

4. Keep records of your GST start up costs
You may or may not be able to offset your GST startup costs but it is still worthwhile to keep a record of your costs related to transitioning to the new tax system.

5. Send your staff for GST training & seminars where available
From time to time, the Government, or the accounting bodies, and other private sector companies, organises GST seminars for the public. You are encouraged to attend these and any other GST related talks to improve your understanding of the new tax.

6. Prepare and plan for stocktake on the last day before GST implementation date.
If  you have inventory in your business, don’t wait until the last minute to plan how to migrate to the new GST tax system.   .

7. Prepare and plan for re-pricing of goods, and printing of price labels to reflect the GST-inc price.
Pricing labels will have to be changed to reflect the new tax.  Depending on the government’s guidelines, you may have to ensure that any re-pricing you undertake is not construed as profiteering.