Friday, March 27, 2015

Doctors may add GST cost to fees

Doctors may add GST cost to fees

PUTRAJAYA: Private healthcare services are not supposed to be charging the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but the cost could be hidden in the consultation fees.

Customs GST division senior assistant director II Norazura Hashim said it was not an offence for doctors to embed their GST costs into the consultation fees.(then how to explain to patients,are we suppose to cheat patients?)

“As long as they do not have a separate GST fee indicated in their invoice, they are not doing anything wrong by passing on the cost to patients,” she told reporters.(poor patient! poor doctor!)

Norazura said private doctors might have to pay the GST to their drug suppliers and would not be able to claim the tax as private healthcare falls under the exempt supplies list.
“Due to this, doctors or clinics may in turn raise their consultation fees to cover whatever GST payment they make.”

Asked whether there was monitoring of clinics, Norazura said it was up to consumers.

“We expect a general increase of between 3% and 4% in healthcare costs following the introduction of GST.

“Patients who notice massive fee increases should lodge complaints with the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry.

“The authorities will then investigate and take the necessary action,” she said.

On a separate matter, Norazura said the ministry had not finalised the list of medical equipment that would be GST-exempt.

“When it comes to medical equipment, there is a difference between Item Three and Item Six of the GST Exempt Supply Order 2014.

“All medical equipment purchased by government  are exempted, while only selected equipment are exempted for private hospitals,” she said.

She said the full list of the exemptions approved by the Ministry of Finance would be uploaded on the Customs website soon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Malaysia Income Tax Guide 2015

for full articles please read


What Are Tax Reliefs?

What about a tax relief? It is defined as "an amount that can be deducted from a person's annual income to reduce the amount on which tax is paid".
To describe it in a more clear and concise manner, it is actually a way for you to lessen your chargeable income.
Let's say you took home a monthly paycheck of RM4,000 from your company in 2014 and if there were no tax exemptions or reliefs, your chargeable income will remain the same and your tax for the year would have been in the 10% bracket.
Now say the Government decides that all Residents of Malaysia should get a personal tax relief of up to RM9,000 per year. Your chargeable income will now be RM31,000 which means that your tax would be in the 6% bracket.
These are the following reliefs available for Malaysian Residents:
Included in MTD systemRM
Self and Dependent9,000
Life insurance and EPF6,000
Husband/Wife/Alimony Payments3,000
Ordinary Child relief (per child)1,000
Total> 15,000
Not usually included in MTD / PCB system but relevant to most taxpayersRM
Net saving in SSPN's scheme6,000
Education Fees (Individual)5,000
Updated: PRS Voluntary Contribution3,000
Purchase of personal computer (every 3 years)3,000
Insurance premium for education or medical benefit3,000
Special relief for tax payers earning an income of up to RM8,000 a month (RM96,000 anually). Only applicable for the 2013 year of assessment.2,000
Purchase of books, journals, magazines and publications1,000
Complete medical examination500
Purchase of sport equipment for sport activities300
Not included in MTD system but relevant to certain taxpayersRM
Disabled Individual6,000
Basic supporting equipment (for disabled self, spouse, child or parent)5,000
Medical expenses for serious diseases5,000
Disabled child 5,000
Medical expenses for parents5,000
Child age 18 years old and above, not married and pursuing diplomas or above qualification in Malaysia @ bachelor degree or above outside Malaysia in program and in Higher Education Institute that is accredited by related Government authorities6,000
Disabled Wife / Husband3,500
Child age 18 years old and above, not married and receiving full-time tertiary education1,000
Premium on new annuity scheme or additional premium paid on existing annuity scheme commencing payment from 01/01/2010 (amount exceeding RM1,000 can be claimed together with life insurance premium)1,000
Total> 35,500

Tax Deductions vs Tax Reliefs

Most of the time people get confused between Tax Deductions and Tax Reliefs, and its easy to see why. They are for the most part the same thing, as they both allow you to reduce your Chargeable Income (that is, before you even start looking at tax rate tables). In fact most people worldwide use both terms interchangeably, and LHDN goes one step further and classifies Tax Deductions as a reduction in your Chargeable Income as a result of Gifts or Donations.
As a rule of thumb, you can deduct up to 7% of your Taxable Income for gifts to charities and institutions which are approved by the government (not all charities are approved, so be sure to find out before you donate away!), unless you are giving to a few selected government-related bodies, where there is less restrictions on the amount deductible from your income.
For example, if you earned RM60,000 this year, and donated RM5,000 to an approved charity, you may deduct RM4,200 (ie. 7% of RM60,000) off your chargeable income, in addition to all those reliefs above.

What are the Tax Rebates in Malaysia for 2014?

tax reliefSome people will be having the question of how is a tax rebate different from a tax relief? A tax relief is a reduction in your chargeable income (ie. before you calculate tax) whereas a tax rebate is a reduction in your tax expenseafter you have calculated your tax for the year.
Tax rebates (or also known as "tax refunds" but done automatically rather than actually refunded to you). Simply put, there are income tax rebates for Malaysian taxpaying citizens who are having a chargeable income of less than RM35,000 which is RM400. There is also an additional RM400 rebate for married couples who have a chargeable income of less than RM35,000 per year and are eligible for the RM3,000 wife / husband / alimony relief.
To give a quick calculation example for tax rebates:
Taxable Income: Salary of RM45,000 a year
Chargeable Income: RM45,000 - RM9,000 - RM4,950 EPF relief = RM31,050.
Tax calculated using Income Tax Tables (without counting any rebates): RM863
Tax Payable: RM863 - RM400 rebate = RM463
In the above example, you were eligible for the RM400 tax rebate because your Chargeable Income was less than RM35,000 (it was RM31,050 in that example).

Another type of tax rebate, but which is only applicable for Muslim citizens, is the zakat / fitrah. Zakat is a compulsory payment for charity and considered to be compulsory as it is one of the five pillars in Islam. It can be calculated via the Muslim taxpayer's acquired wealth or income. Zakat Fitrah, on the other hand, can be considered to be a small, compulsory levy that is imposed upon Muslim taxpayers only. It used to be calculated in the olden days using a pack of rice grains (one pack is equivalent to approximately 2.7 kg) but in the modern days, it is calculated based on the equivalent price of this pack rice grains. You can read all about Zakat and the various types that exists in our guide Zakat in Islam.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What will be taxed with GST?

What will be taxed with GST?

Saturday, 14 March 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be implemented effective April 1, 2015 and the rate is fixed at 6%. Sales tax of 10% and service tax of 6% will be replaced with GST.
Under GST, most of the goods and services (except basic necessities) will be charged at every stage of the supply chain – even the ones that was previously not charged with Sales and Service Tax (SST). This means we will likely be paying more to purchase or use these goods and services, which were not taxed previously.
1. Credit card
The RM50 government tax charged annually on credit cards and the RM25 fee for supplementary cards, will be abolished from April 1, 2015 when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is implemented. Instead, the 6% GST will apply on the credit card’s annual fees – which can range from RM70 to RM1,000 or more annually, depending on the type of card.
However, there will be no GST charges if the annual fee is waived, for example for free-for-life credit cards or those with annual fees waived, with stipulated minimum spending or transactions on a monthly or yearly basis.
To reflect the changes, the GST charged will be reflected as a separate item in the credit card statement. However, purchases will be reflected as a total amount inclusive of GST. There is some good news though, loyalty points or cash rebates will be given based on the 6% GST paid when using the credit card for retail purchases.
2. Books and e-books
The standard 6% GST will be imposed on all types of books except for dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, texts, references, works and religious books. These books will be zero-rated and not be subjected to GST.
Local e-book suppliers like e-sentral and MPHonline will also be charging GST whereas foreign firms such as Google Play and Apple iBookstore would not be.
3. Housing
GST will also see basic construction materials such as cement, bricks and sand being taxed the standard 6% GST rate for both residential and commercial properties. Currently, these raw materials are not taxed under the existing SST. Heavy machineries such as cranes will be taxed too. Property developers normally do not buy such heavy machineries but rent them from other contractors – and it typically is factored into the construction cost.
Steel, bricks, and sand make up 44% of the construction cost and with these being charged GST, the cost of building a property is inevitably going to increase. Property companies expect GST to result in a maximum of 2.6% increase in house prices.
When the GST is implemented in April, residential property including SoHo (small office/home office) will be exempted. However, commercial properties including SoFo (small office/flexible office) and SoVo (small office/virtual office) would be subject to the 6% GST.
4. Fuel
RON95, Diesel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) will be exempted from GST implementation. However, RON97 will be subjected to the new 6% GST.
5. Electricity
A household will have 6% GST charged to the electricity bill for usage above 300 units.
6. Used cars
Currently, used cars are not subjected to SST and is not a GST zero rated item either. Therefore the car industry predicts that used cars will be subjected to an extra 6% tax after the implementation of GST in April.
7. Banking services
The RM1 MEPS fee charged when we withdraw from another bank’s ATM will increase to RM1.06. No GST will be charged if you make a withdrawal from your own bank’s ATM.
Similarly, other services offered by the bank, such as money transfers (e.g. cashier’s order and demand draft), telegraphic transfers, money exchange, loan, cheque, credit card, and debit card will see 6% GST charged to its service, commission or subscription fee.
8. Tuition fees
Beginning April, 6% GST will be imposed on tuition fees, as tuition centres are not categorised under educational institutions.
9. Beauty services
The price of beauty services like manicure, and hair and facial treatments will be subjected to 6% GST too. Massage services are also chargeable with the GST if the annual turnover for such businesses is RM500,000 and above. Aside from beauty services, cosmetics and other products for skin, hair and body care will also be charged GST.
However, operators registered to implement the GST will be able to lower their costs by claiming the input tax credit for premises rental fees, electricity costs and equipment purchased to carry out the services. Input tax refers to the GST paid by businesses on the purchase of goods and services used to perform their businesses.
Beauty products sold at airports as duty-free items will not be subjected to GST.
10. Insurance fees
All insurance policies except for life insurance will be charged 6% GST from April. GST would also impact all traditional and investment-linked policies which had medical, critical illness or personal accident benefits attached.
For traditional policies, the GST is imposed on the premium, while for investment-linked policies, it is charged on the insurance charges. For investment-linked policies, insurance charges will escalate with age because of higher insurance charges.
While it is still not clear how much prices will increase, or in some instances, decrease, it is prudent to know your exempted and zero-rated items to avoid opportunists merchants who may be profiteering on GST.
With less than a month away before GST is actually implemented, it is wise to understand how GST will affect both our daily or seasonal spending. This will help us to plan our spending ahead, to minimise the negative effect of GST.
For more, click on

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Joint Press Statement by Doctors Associations on the Pharmacy Bill/RUUF

We refer to the Minister of Health’s statement “Dispensing Separation Still Under Review’, (Bernama 4.3.2015), following a meeting called by the Pharmaceutical Services Division (PSD), Ministry of Health Malaysia to discuss issues with regards the Pharmacy Bill. The following attending the meeting on behalf of the medical profession:
Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)
Medical Practitioners Coalition of Malaysia (MPCN)
Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM)
Pertubuhan Doktor-Doktor Islam Malaysia(PERDIM)
Malaysian Medical Association(MMA)
Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Associations Malaysia(FPMPAM)
Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia(APHM)
At the very outset of the meeting, the doctors’ request for details of the Bill to be made available for the discussion was denied
In the light of this it would have been impossible to discuss rationally the provisions in the draft Bill that are of concern to the doctors and its impact on patient care. Thus we, the above, representing the medical practitioners of Malaysia had no choice except request that the meeting be terminated in the light of the impasse. The chairman of the meeting concurred and ended the meeting prematurely.
We hereby express our grave concern how such an important Bill, that will affect the duty of care of patients and professional medical practice be allowed to promulgated without due and transparent consultations with all stakeholders including patient care groups, doctors, relevant healthcare professionals and the public.
We are extremely concerned that there will be provisions in this Bill that will:
1: Interfere with continuity of patient care by doctors
2: Interfere the patients’ choice of medications
3: Affect the safety of patients
4: Interfere with patients’ preference on where to obtain medicines
5: Unnecessarily increase cost of medical care
6: Inconvenience patient by impeding access of patients to one-stop care
7: Compel patients to fill prescriptions from limited pharmacies
8. Increase patients’ vulnerability to exploitation by monopolistic and oligopolistic mega-pharmacy groups

We hereby urge the Minister of Health to ensure that all engagements be held in a transparent manner with all stakeholders.
Issued by:
Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Associations Malaysia
Medical Practitioners Coalition of Malaysia
Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia
Pertubuhan Doktor-Doktor Islam Malaysia(PERDIM)
Academy of Family Practitioners Malaysia

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bank Islam-MBSB merger in the air

Bank Islam-MBSB merger in the air
Saturday, 28 February 2015
AS the dust settles on the aborted three-way banking merger of last month, a plan is being floated on a “marriage” between Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.
Sources say the idea of a merger between the two is being mooted at the shareholder level of both companies, namely the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH).
According to sources, the interest for both parties to go into a corporate exercise is not altogether new and was first floated early last year. But by the time any formal move could be taken, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd had already entered the fray to initiate the proposed merger between MBSB and RHB Capital Bhd (RHB Cap). Now, with that out of the way, the plan is apparently being revisited but still at preliminary stages, sources say.
A common factor the two companies have is Tan Sri Samsudin Osman, who is chairman of EPF and BIMB Holdings Bhd – Bank Islam’s listed parent company. BIMB wholly owns Bank Islam, which is its main income generator. “Because of their common chairman, the two parties have a close relationship,” say sources.
The EPF is also a shareholder in BIMB with an 8.18% stake as at March 31, 2014, according to the company’s 2013 annual report. The pension fund has in recent years upped its stake in the stock from 4.73% in 2009. BIMB’s single largest shareholder is LTH with 54.69% while another fund, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), has a 5.11% stake.
The EPF, meanwhile, is MBSB’s single largest shareholder with 64.5%. The fund ended up with the large stake in the non-bank lender due to legacy issues from the 1998 financial crisis. It has been reported that the fund under its current leadership has made it a priority to reduce its interest in listed companies to ensure it remains as an investor and not the driver of the entities.
Bankers say that if a merger is to take place, the EPF would be able to vote, unlike the situation in the failed merger with CIMB and RHB. For funds to be considered a substantial shareholder, their stake has to be at least 10% in a company.
The fund was not allowed to vote in that deal as it is a common major shareholder of all the parties involved and there exists a potential conflict of interest.
According to some bankers, a merger between Bank Islam and MBSB makes a good fit. About 80% of MBSB’s assets are already Islamic and it aspires to become a full-fledged Islamic lender. In recent years, the company has been working to “close the gaps” towards a commercial banking platform, a practice it need not comply with but is undertaking for better perception and branding.

Bank Islam, meanwhile, is Malaysia’s first standalone Islamic bank set up in 1983. In the past few years, it has sought several mergers and acquisitions (M&As), but nothing materialised. “Bank Islam is the country’s standard-bearer in Islamic banking. After three decades in the business, it is only expected that it moves into the big league and grow market share,” notes a banker who reckons that Bank Islam would not be able to achieve its ambition to be a mega-Islamic bank unless it merges with another Islamic bank.
Business-wise, Bank Islam is much larger with a strong retail presence of 140 branches and a workforce of about 4,000. MBSB, which built its asset base largely from loans to personal financing, has 43 branches and 1,300 employees. However, it is diversifying and aims to double its corporate loan book to 30% by 2020 under a new five-year business plan.
MBSB’s cost-to-income ratio (CIR) is among the lowest in the industry at 22.36% in 2014, while Bank Islam’s is at about 50%, which is not unusual for a bank with retail presence, say analysts.
Bank Islam’s total assets as at Sept 30, 2014 were RM42.89bil, while MBSB’s is RM37.67bil currently.
Maybank Islamic Bhd, the Islamic banking arm of Malayan Banking Bhd, is the biggest Islamic banking outfit with total assets of RM132.30bil.
Bank Islam declined to comment on StarBizWeek’s queries.
Earlier this week, MBSB’s president and chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman said that a corporate exercise is inevitable for the company in an increasingly competitive landscape. In an interview with StarBizWeek. he said that for the company to get out of this “no man’s land” and to be on firmer growth towards a financial institution platform, it needs to seriously look into a corporate exercise in the very near future.
On the synergies it is seeking from an M&A, Zaini said that it would have to be a marriage between retail and corporate, given that he felt MBSB can contribute more on the latter. Without being able to tap into low-cost deposits, MBSB is also going to find it difficult to grow.
Bank Islam’s managing director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat, in an interview with StarBizWeek last year, said that besides Indonesia, the bank is also aiming to grow its local footprint, in line with the central bank’s goal to have a mega-Islamic bank in Malaysia. As to its M&A options, he had said that the bank was open to candidates that can complement its strengths in consumer banking.
In 2011, Bank Islam failed to strike a merger deal with DRB-Hicom Bhd-owned Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd. Last year, there were talks that Maybank Islamic could be teaming up with Bank Islam.
“Bank Islam is a prized asset in the pilgrim fund’s stable of companies. However, a stake of 30% to 40% in a much larger entity is an attractive proposition,” says a banker. It is also likely that LTH would want to retain the Bank Islam name post-merger, given that it has a stronger branding and is after all Malaysia’s pioneering Islamic bank.
On valuations MBSB could fetch, some bankers think that it may not be able to fetch the 1.91 price-to-book value (P/BV) as in the previous bank merger deal, as economic conditions have weakened. MBSB could have been accorded a high valuation in that deal because of its high return on equity, say analysts.
Had that proposed merger materialised, it would have seen MBSB being acquired by CIMB-RHB’s Islamic banking operations to form a “mega” Islamic bank with total assets of RM122bil. At Friday’s price of RM2.20, MBSB is valued at RM5.96bil and trading at a P/BV of 1.30. Just last week, MBSB announced a net profit of RM1.02bil for the year ended Dec 31, 2014, bolstered by a one-off recognition of RM366.06mil in deferred tax assets.
As for BIMB, a restructuring may have to be done prior to any merger of Bank Islam, given that the former also owns a 60.5% stake in Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, which is also listed, and BIMB Securities Sdn Bhd, which make a minute contribution to the group’s bottom line. BIMB shares are valued at RM6.2bil at RM4.04. It had made a pre-tax profit of RM506.27mil for the nine months ended Sept 31, 2014.
On Thursday, BIMB announced that it asking for a time extension to submit its financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014.

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