Malaysian will be required to file personal tax by end of April each year for employed person (Form BE) and by end of June for self employed/business owner (Form B), however the assessment period shall be from 1st Jan 2017 to 31st Dec 2017. Therefore, we should be prepared and foresee what are items that could benefit to us as Malaysian Tax Residents.
Before we discuss the relief available, we should first understand Tax Relief. Tax relief means it is deducted from you taxable income, which is different from Tax Rebate. Example, if your tax able income is RM 20,000, with tax Relief is RM 3,000, your taxable income will be RM 17,000. Tax Rebate will be the amount deducted from the amount of tax you supposed to pay to LHDN. Let’s say your final calculated tax payable is RM 1,200, and when you are given a Tax Rebate of RM 400, then you only need to pay RM 800. Therefore amount of saving from Tax Relief will depend on the Tax Bracket of individuals.
There are some changes to our tax relief as announced during National Budget in year 2016, let us recap how we could fully benefited from it:
- Full Medical Check Up – If you have not carried out any medical check up and intended to do so, it is now the right time as you will be entitled to RM 500 tax relief.
- Lifestyle Relief – In year 2017, lifestyle relief included printed newspaper for reading material, tablet and smartphone and monthly subscription for internet. In year 2016 only personal computers are allowed (once every 3 years) and newspaper was not included for reading material relief. However the combined limit was lowered to RM 2,500 compared to RM3,000 for personal computers and RM 1,000 for reading materials earlier. However, it is still worth considering and keep a good record of your purchase or subscription.
- Savings in SSPN-i is a great point to consider as SSPN-i dividend for 2016 was 4% and individual are allowed up to RM 6,000 or tax relief. The dividend was better than savings in Fixed Deposit and considering the tax relief up to RM 6,000. If a person tax rate fell into 20% bracket, you could actually saved up to RM 1,200 besides receiving the dividend of 4%.
- Another important savings (or investment) is Private Retirement Scheme, tax relief up to RM 3,000 was allowed for investment with approved scheme. If one is planning to utilise Unit Trust as part of retirement planning, you should first invest in PRS since both are of the same concept and have some identical fund manager, but PRS allows tax relief up to RM 3,000. Adding onto that, any individual below 30 years old would be topped up with RM 1,000 from government as encouragement to invest in this scheme.
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