KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 ― The government’s idea to start taxing online businesses are limited to major companies such as platform providers and not small online companies, Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said today.
“Taxing them (small businesses) will make it difficult for them to survive,” Johari told reporters after launching the National Tax Conference here, during which the topic of taxing online businesses was mentioned by Inland Revenue Board (IRB) CEO Tan Sri Mohd Shukor Mahfar.
“I think you should not disrupt online businesses because they are small. We are trying to look at companies that provide the platforms, they earn millions of dollars but do not pay tax,” he said.
Johari said that Putrajaya is not trying to discourage the major platform providers but are trying to “level the playing field” between local companies and major international companies who are using the digital platform.
But he also stressed that the “wrong message” must not be sent that the government is trying to tax even the small online businesses.
“We don’t want to send the wrong message to all the people doing online business. We don’t want them to panic. We want online businesses,” he said.
In May, Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah said that Putrajaya is looking for ways to tax individuals engaged in digital or online business.
But Johari assured today that the government’s main target are major companies such as Uber, GrabCar, and Netflix, who are major international companies in the digital economy.
– The MalayMail