CYBERJAYA, March 6 (Bernama) — Stressing that taxes must be paid by those eligible, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, wants the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to investigate individuals or companies which engage in tax evasion tricks.
Anwar, when officiating the 27th Revenue Day tonight, said the move was aimed at ensuring that those who are obliged to pay income tax do not evade or escape legal claims.
“I deliberately expressed this to give encouragement to the efforts, that as long as I am entrusted to lead the government, I want these individuals, whether they are petty traders or the wealthy, to abide by the law and not evade paying income tax.
“I am saying this so that everyone, whether they are my acquaintances or not, my supporters or not, taxes must be paid and the IRB must search and look for tricks used (to avoid paying taxes),” he said.
Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said if the effort can be implemented well, then the performance of the country’s revenue will continue to increase and be even better than in previous years.
Recalling the time when he held the Finance Minister post in the 1990s, Anwar said the Inland Revenue Department at that time, before being upgraded as the IRB, faced difficulties in collecting taxes, especially from public figures, including VVIPs who refused to pay taxes.
“I said it was a bit strange, a sovereign independent country with rules and laws, and yet the super rich refused to pay (taxes).
“Hence, I issued a statement for the Inland Revenue Department at that time, that I was on the side of the officers of the department, to ensure that those who were obliged to pay taxes must do so without negligence.
“I was satisfied that, even though I faced difficulties because I had issued such a warning, after that, the performance of the department greatly improved. Most of the people who previously refused (to pay taxes) finally complied with the rules,” he said.
He also said that the IRB needs to strengthen its role and responsibility so that the performance of national revenue collection continues to improve.
He also reminded the IRB staff not to fall into corrupt practices, in order to protect its image.
Touching on the Malaysia MADANI concept, which he initiated, Anwar said, “MADANI brings good results, and these good results are produced by generating and driving fresh growth, but its values must be maintained.
“What is the meaning of professional work in IRB if there is no value that we apply (and) this is what differentiates MADANI from deen (religion) and civilisation, to place us as a dignified nation,” he said.
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