Consumers should exercise wise spending if they do not want to be burdened by the Sales and Service Tax (SST), to be enforced on Sept 1, although some basic essential items are exempted from the tax.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said consumers should understand the SST concept and be able to differentiate it from the goods and services tax (GST) that was introduced in 2015.
“Prices of certain goods maybe beyond their (consumers) expectation. Hence, they need to understand and know the goods on which the tax is imposed and those that are not,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
Mohd Yusof said the choice would be in the hands of consumers whether or not to spend as some essential items would be imposed tax, especially those categorised as luxury items.
Traders, he said, should reflect their responsibility by displaying the prices of goods sold at their premises.
“For restaurants that impose service tax, there should be a notice to inform their patrons that SST is imposed at the premises,” he added.
Mohd Yusof (photo) also advised consumers to keep the receipts of their purchases to detect any sudden increase in prices of goods after SST.
“Keeping the purchase receipts should be made a culture to check on abuse by traders and to facilitate reports by consumers to Fomca or the Customs Department,” he added.
According to Customs director-general Subromaniam Tholasy, the SST rate and the list of goods that will be exempted from the tax will be released soon.
List being finalised
Subromaniam said the list was being finalised and would not be very much different from the one already uploaded at the Customs Department's site.
Based on the list, essential items such as drinking water, flour, egg and several types of fish will be exempted from SST, while electrical appliances, such as washing machine and refrigerator, will have a 10 percent SST.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said traders who did not register their businesses for the SST before Sept 1 would not face any action by the government if they had valid reasons.
Lim said the ministry was prepared to give the traders a bit of leeway, but the traders were warned not to misuse it.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, has given his consent to implement the Sales and Services Tax Act, paving the way for the tax to come into effect on Sept 1.
The King's approval on Friday last week came after the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara gave their green-light on Aug 9 and Aug 20, respectively.