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Monday, December 30, 2013

Tips on how you can minimise your tax bill

Source: http://www.thesundaily.my/news/915260

Tips on how you can minimise your tax bill

As 2013 draws to a close the last thing anyone wants to think about is taxes. But if you want to minimise your taxes you have a few more days to take these actions. It can be done albeit the savings may not be huge. After all instead of paying to the taxman, why not have a few more ringgit to spend on yourself and family.

Let's be realistic on what you can do in the next few days. The key reliefs you could focus on is to maximise the claims for personal relief which are dependent on your expenditure. They are:

a) RM1,000 – purchase of books, journals, magazines and other similar publications for the enhancement of knowledge. The books purchased can be for yourself and family.

b) RM3,000 – purchase of personal computer once in every three years but does not include iPads, smartphones, etc. But includes desktop computers and computer notebooks.

c) RM300 – purchase of sports equipment such as racquets and bats but it excludes items such as sports attire, swimsuits and sports shoes.

d) RM6,000 – contribution to Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional for your children. The interest earned thereon will be exempted from income tax. For contribution details please refer to National Higher Education Fund Corporation.

e) RM500 – medical check-up. There are a few more days for you and your wife and children to undergo a complete medical examination.

f) Donations to approved charities under Section 44(6) of the Income Tax Act are limited to 7% of the aggregate income (AG) and AG for a employed person could be the sum of his employment income net of any expenses incurred in the performing his duties, plus any other income, for example, rental and interest.

g) RM5,000 – purchase of supporting equipment for self (if disabled person) or for disabled spouse, child or parent.

h) RM3,000 – contributions to Private Retirement Schemes and Deferred Annuity Schemes.

All the above expenditure needs to be incurred by Dec 31, 2013, and receipts should be obtained in the name of the claimant and should be dated on the day the monies are spent. In case where contracts are needed they need to be effected by Dec 31, 2013.

For Muslims, if you make any zakat and fitrah payments before Dec 31, 2013, you are entitled to claim a rebate up to the amount you pay to the relevant Islamic authorities. The rebate will be set off against your tax payable.

Please do not forget that all your reliefs can be doubled if you and your wife opt for separate assessment and this will generally apply for individuals where both spouses earn more than RM3,000 a year.

To those who own a property which is rented out, you bring forward the repair expenditure to this year if the repairs are carried out during 2013 and the bill for such work is issued preferably by Dec 31.

Finally, if you have sold any property this month and the sale and purchase documents are being prepared for signature and completion, please try and rush the procedure through before the year-end to benefit from the lower Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) rates. If you sign the S&P agreement in 2014 you will be subjected to the higher RPGT rates.

Hope the above tips will be of some benefit to you. Good Luck and Happy New Year.

S.M. Thanneermalai is president of Chartered Tax Instituteof Taxation Malaysia and a senior executive director of PwC

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