Over 900 items in Malaysia will be free of GST

Over 900 items in Malaysia will be free of GST

PETALING JAYA - The Government has unveiled a list of more than 900 items that will be zero-rated and exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) come April.

The basket of goodies, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling Budget 2015, was gazetted yesterday.

Zero-rated goods are those that consumers need not pay GST for while exempt goods are free of the tax all along the value chain.

Food items are among those on the zero-rated list. They include sheep and goats, swine, poultry, cows, ducks and geese - both "live" and frozen - while seafood items include fish that is "live", chilled, fillet, dried, salted, smoked and soaked in brine and crustaceans and molluscs.

Consumers need not worry about GST when they purchase food items such as fresh and salted eggs and a variety of vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuce, carrots, turnips and other edible roots, asparagus, mushrooms, chillies and leguminous vegetables like peas and long beans.

Coconuts and fruits such as durians, rambutans, langsat, bananas, dates, figs, citrus fruits, grapes, melons, apples, pears, apricots, cherries and strawberries are on the GST-free list.

Coffee and tea lovers can fully enjoy their cuppa as the beverages and an array of spices, rice, pastas and noodles have also been exempted.

The public will also not be taxed when purchasing newspapers, journals, periodicals and dictionaries as well as when they buy receipt books, letter pads, diaries, note books and exercise books.

Among highlights in the GST-exempted list are education and healthcare services.

These include private childcare, preschool, primary and secondary school education, as well as religious schools and tertiary education.

Exemptions are given to food and drinks supplied by canteen operator in government, government-aided or private preschool, primary and secondary schools and on course materials, food and accommodation, students' transport, administrative services such as enrolment, issuance of student and library cards, or assessment of academic performance and examination services.

Under the healthcare services, GST will not be imposed on dental, nursing, midwifery, allied health, pharmacy and ambulance services provided by healthcare professionals, hospitalisation, screening, diagnoses, treatment to those suffering from any disease, injury or disability of mind or body.

Exemptions are also given for services for curing or alleviating any abnormal condition of the human body by the application of any apparatus, device or any other medical technology and mortuary services.

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