KUCHING, Oct 24: A 77-year-old retiree who was summoned by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to pay income tax incurred 20 years ago can now breathe a sigh of relief after the court allowed him to pay by instalment.
Magistrate Zubaidah Shakawi today ordered retired carpenter Choo Siong Ting to pay the IRB an instalment of RM50 per month until the debt is cleared.
Choo was asked to pay IRB a total of RM2,437.96 as the balance of income tax owed from 1993 to 1999.
He received a letter from IRB regarding this payment in January this year. His son later tried to liaise with the IRB to pay the amount owed by instalment due to their constrained financial situation.
However, IRB rejected the offer to pay by instalment and issued an order for Choo’s arrest in September.
Choo’s last drawn salary was about RM1,500 per month and he couldn’t find any record or receipt to prove that he had paid his taxes sufficiently. In most cases, it was his employer who deducted a certain sum from his salary to pay for the taxes.
After hearing Choo’s case, the magistrate agreed for the retiree to pay by instalment, and ordered the sum to be RM50 per month.
Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, who took time off from the ongoing Parliament sitting to return to Kuching to represent Choo, said the case was ‘unreasonable, unfair’ and lambasted IRB for being ‘crazy after money’.
“It’s more than 20 years ago — where can you find records or receipts of it (income received and taxes paid)? How could you do this to an old man and make him worried sick like this,” Chong lamented to reporters.
He said companies are required to keep records for seven years under the Income Tax Law and pursuing income tax owed from a low-income retiree from his pay 20 years ago was really uncalled for. — Dayak Daily