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KUCHING, July 17: Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions president Datuk Richard Wee says the Sales and Services Tax (SST) is easier to implement, but it will impact prices.
With the sales tax at 10 per cent and services tax at six per cent, Wee said it would be naive to think that SST would not impact the prices of goods.
Wee admitted he had always supported the Goods and Services Tax (GST), although he believed it should be at a lower rate, say three per cent, and gradually increased like in other countries in the region.
“GST is a more efficient tax system. It is fair and efficient, where businessmen (middlemen) can still claim back the six per cent they have paid.
“Of course it involved more paperwork and, as a whole, is more complicated, but it is a system that has to be implemented,” Wee told DayakDaily today.
Wee, who is a local businessman, was responding to the latest statement by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who said that he would table a new bill to introduce SST, where sales tax is set at 10 per cent and services tax at 6 per cent.
The problem with the GST, Wee opined, was with its execution. The then Barisan Nasional (BN) government had made it complicated for businesses. For instance, they have to take into the consideration the exemption list.
There would be no refunds or rebates for businessmen under the SST because all they would do is collect the tax and pay straight to the government.
“No businessmen will absorbe it. What the businessmen do is to pass the 10 per cent sales tax straight to the consumers,” said Wee.
He said due to its simplicity in implementation, most people might not even notice they were paying 10 per cent SST.
Comparatively, he said, GST was more transparent, and because people knew about it, they were unhappy with it.
He argued that with SST, it would be easier for businesses to evade tax, but not with GST — as “everything has to be declared”. — DayakDaily