QUESTION TIME | Here’s something for Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to consider very seriously in terms of raising revenue, given the very ostentatious, and even crude, display of wealth of many in society who may not be paying the requisite amount of tax.
It’s been a bone of contention with salaried workers and small-time self-employed people that the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) notoriously targets the small man/woman, while those who are much richer and have plenty of assets get away with, not murder, but not even paying taxes in some cases.
For instance, taxpayers who have been regularly paying taxes under the pay-as-you-earn scheme are sometimes fined more than a couple of thousand ringgit for merely filing the taxes late, even by a day. And this is when your tax obligation may be of the order of RM14,000 for the full year.
If you are charged RM2,000 for paying an RM14,000 obligation a day late, that’s an interest rate of 14.3 percent a day or 5,200 percent a year - 520 times a rate of 10 percent a year which is usually the late payment charge.
But till today, that system still operates as a quick means of garnering quick income for the government from the unsuspecting small man who may have been derelict only in terms of late filing, although he has long since made payment...