IRB’s Voluntary Declaration Disclosure Scheme irks Sibu businessmen

A copy of the SVDP notice issued by IRB

By Lian Cheng

SIBU, Feb 9: The business community here are unhappy with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for the notification of Voluntary Declaration Disclosure Scheme (SVDP) from the Inland Revenue Department (IRB).

A reliable source said many businessmen in Sibu, especially those in the shipbuilding industry, had been served the letter.

“For example, within one day, 20 individuals within one shipbuilding company received the letter. There are many within the industry also receiving it.

“When we checked around, there are also those from other industries, such as construction, also receiving it,” said the source, who requested anonymity.

He claimed the general reaction to the letter was one of anger and frustration.

“(Finance Minister) Lim Guan Eng said about 8.3 million letters and emails on SVDP had been sent out.

“Perhaps, all the Chinese in Malaysia, especially the businessmen, will get it,” said the source, who also had a copy of the letter.

For those who have received the SVDP, he reckoned very few would go to the IRB voluntarily.

“Most have decided to wait and see how it goes. They will not turn up but will wait for the dark fate to befall upon them,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said there had been much discontentment towards the high-handedness of Lim.

“There is a young student whose father bought a car for him. This student was also served the letter just because his father bought him an expensive car.

“And in Sibu, there is a case where a businessman who had retired for 15 years receiving the letter from IRB.

“I am not sure what Lim Guan Eng is up to but words have been going around that come April, many businessmen will be taken to task for not paying enough tax.”

Meanwhile, state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen told a press conference in Kuching today that businessmen need not fret about receiving the letter from IRB.

On the contrary, he advised them to seize this opportunity to voluntarily make full disclosure of their income as the penalty imposed would be between 10 to 15 per cent only, compared to 100 to 300 per cent without the scheme.

Chong, who is also Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said many had received the letter and rather than feeling disturbed and worried, they should see this as a gesture of goodwill by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government as the scheme provides a special offer for those who had in the past under-declared their income or have brought their income offshore. — DayakDaily