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THE popular manner unit trust funds are promoted by fund sales promoters are based on fund past performance. And that is also the common way investor gets the impression and decides which fund is good to invest in. Why? Because this feeds exactly into the investor’s psychology of wanting to see the good double-digit performance. […]
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PETALING JAYA: The country's two largest business bodies, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), are both protesting against the more than four-month long wait for goods and services tax (GST) refunds, citing cash flow constraints, especially with the year-end approaching and payment difficulties.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement on Wednesday the government will repay the RM19.4 billion outstanding GST refunds to 121,429 companies and individuals from next year.
FMM president Datuk Soh Thian Lai told SunBiz that if the government could not refund GST input tax claims in the near term, it should be more specific on the payment schedule. He thinks FMM members' claims alone could account for at least RM1 billion.
“We are concerned over this, (because) based on 100 members' responses to our survey, it was already RM220 million and yesterday one company sent … (its claim) … which was already an additional RM45 million … if you add up (claims of) our 3,000 members, the figure could go into billions, or at least RM1 billion,” he explained.
Soh said the delay in GST refunds and the implementation of the new sales and services (SST) come Sept 1 will be a double blow for manufacturers, which will affect their cash flows and lead to payment difficulties, among others.
He said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be given priority in GST refunds for that reason.
FMM is awaiting a response to a letter it sent to the Finance Ministry two days ago on a detailed action plan to solve the issue of unpaid GST refunds.
The manufacturers body is of the view that the government should be more specific on its payment schedule, such as when it will be done, whom or which industries will be refunded first, will it be the SMEs or the MNCs, and how the money will be paid.
“Our wish is that they pay before SST (is implemented). If they are not able to do so, they should come up with the schedule (for payment),” Soh said.
Echoing his sentiment, ACCCIM chairman of SMEs and human resource development committee Koong Lin Loong said the refund is “obviously too late” and may affect businesses' cash flow and the overall business ecosystem.
With the year-end approaching, some businesses, he said, will require more money for their seasonal sales.
For the easier and straightforward cases, the refunds should be done sooner.
While acknowledging the need for the authorities to make checks to avoid fraudulent claims, Koong said the authorities can speed up the process by publishing a checklist on the documentation requirements for the refunds.
“They should tell business owners to get ready with the minimum documents and ask them to come forward and submit their documents on a voluntary basis,” he said.
This, he added, will also expedite the documents screening process.
Meanwhile, the finance minister's special officer, Tony Pua, was quoted as saying in an interview with TV3 that the money needed for GST refunds will be included in Budget 2019.
He said the government is mulling the introduction of new taxes to raise money for the refunds. Pua, however, gave the assurance that the new taxes will not burden the B40 (bottom 40% of household income) group.
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