Malaysia's Customs Department clamps down on GST dodgers

Malaysia's Customs Department clamps down on GST dodgers
Department gets cracking: Perlis Customs Department officers inspecting GST registration documents belonging to a shop owner in Jejawi, Perlis.

PETALING JAYA - The Customs Department has launched a massive crackdown to hunt down errant business owners who did not register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) despite the ample time given for them to do so.

Customs Department's GST director Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy said the operation began yesterday in Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor, where Sunday is a working day.

The nationwide Ops Khas GST, involving 5,000 officers, will be extended to the other states today.

Customs Department director-general Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad is expected to hold a media conference after the official launch of the operation at the Customs Department headquarters in Kelana Jaya.

Subromaniam said no latitude would be given to defaulters.

"There will be no leeway. Customs officers will go to the companies to take action as notices were given out three weeks ago.

"The offenders will be issued a compound fine of RM15,000 and will also be forced to register the companies," he said, adding that they would be given two weeks to pay their compounds or face the risk of being charged in court.

He reiterated that the Customs Department had no option but to be strict in order to prevent confusion among the public.

"It will be unfair to businesses that have registered and will be charging GST while others simply choose not to register," he said.

Subromaniam said a total of 345,376 businesses had registered for GST as the extended deadline ended at midnight on Feb 28. The registration deadline was originally set at December last year.

About 60,000 companies had yet to register for GST as of Feb 27.

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