Only 4,000 SMEs registered for GST

PUTRAJAYA - Although the Customs Department has targeted 100,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the end of the year, only about 4,000 companies have responded by June 1.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said this had prompted the Government to intensify its efforts over the coming months.

The department would co-operate with SME associations to boost registrations nationwide within the stipulated period, he said after a meeting with the associations here yesterday.

Present were 25 representatives from 10 SME associations, including from the motor trade, motorcycle and scooters dealers, wholesalers, sundry goods providers and the printing industry.

"Many businesses still do not clearly understand how to fill up (certain sections of) the registration form such as the industry code," said Chua.

"The associations have agreed to guide its members (in the registration process), for which we are thankful.

The Customs will hold special briefings for certain industries, so that detailed information are given to help them in implementing the GST system."

Among other initiatives is a planned step-by-step registration kit to be made available on the Customs website.

The department has also been directed to place officers at its 53 offices nationwide to provide guidance to businesses on the registration process.

On another matter, Chua said the Inland Revenue Board was expected to come out with a guideline next month on income tax claims for content software and (its related) training.

"The Finance Ministry will further deliberate on suggestions to introduce a non-penalty grace period for businesses in implementing the GST system and to increase the content software grant limit," he said.