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Brace yourselves for meaner tax officers, warns Rafizi

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PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has warned that Malaysians will be facing more aggressive tax officers following the corporatisation of the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Rafizi said this was because the corporatisation meant that the IRB will receive a "commission" from the taxes it collects.

"My concern is that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's decision to corporatise IRB will force it to meet certain collection targets as its revenue will be based on the amount of taxes it collects," he said in a statement today.

The Pandan MP pointed out that under the Federal Expenditure Estimate 2018, IRB was allocated RM2.2 billion in "agency fee".

He added that a report by The Edge stated that the IRB is aiming to collect RM134.7 billion in taxes for 2018.

"This means that the IRB will be paid 1.63 percent from the total taxes it collects on behalf of the government," he explains.

Rafizi said he was worried the financial incentive for IRB to collect taxes will result in them becoming more aggressive.

This also gives rise to the concern that the IRB will be more inclined to impose fines and collect interest on backdated taxes, he added.

"While big companies have the financial resources to pay for lawyers and accountants, the normal citizens will have no choice but to pay up if they do not want to keep accumulating interest or fines every year."

Rafizi said he had fielded a question in Parliament on whether the increased tax collection by IRB in recent years was due to companies doing better and workers having high wages, or due to more fines and interest imposed by the agency.

However, he said Najib, who is also finance minister, had declined to provide a breakdown on IRB's source of tax collection.

Rafizi said he will further launch a website to assist the public who feel that they have been unfairly treated by the IRB.

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