Bad news! It seems like the GST refund shortfall is more than we expected!
Last week, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced there was a loss of almost RM18 billion in the input tax credit fund for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
However, in Parliament yesterday (Aug 13), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng revealed that the actual loss in the input tax credit fund for GST is actually higher than what was first reported, as stated in The Star.
“The actual amount of shortfall in the fund for unpaid GST input tax is RM19.248bil, and not RM17.911bil which I had reported to the House last week.”
Lim added the amount was for the period from 2015 to May 31 2018.
From the total arrears, as quoted in NST, RM9.2 billion was accounted for this year, RM6.8 billion in 2017, RM2.8 billion in 2016, and RM600 million in 2015.
He apologised to the House and Speaker for the mistake, saying that the error happened when one of his officers misplaced a decimal point in the fund’s available amount, as reported by Malay Mail.
“It is better that we are transparent and honest with the House than to hide such things, as done by the previous government,” he said.
The minister maintained his accusation that the problem of unpaid taxes was due to the weak cash flow caused by the previous government’s lack of fiscal discipline, widespread wastage, and large debts.
“What was done by the past administration was account falsification and misappropriation of tax refund arrears for other uses or to close the deficit to show that they had a surplus.”
This is a serious issue that requires immediate action, and investigations must be done to locate the missing funds!