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THIS Is How to Claim as Much as Possible for Your 2021 Tax Refund!

BY Team Loanstreet

Updated 29 Apr 2022

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Chup, before you start thinking about all the things you wanna do after this, have you thought about how to make the most of this year’s income tax relief?  

Well, it’s never too late to start, so follow our tips below on how you can reduce your taxable income for Year of Assessment (YA) 2021 income tax before the year ends...


What's covered in this article?

1. You’ve bought a new laptop to work from home (WFH) and online classes. Claim for it!

Type: Lifestyle-related purchases
Maximum relief amount: RM2,500

Back in 2016, this lifestyle-related purchase tax relief used to have a combined worth of RM4,000. Now, it’s only RM2,500. 

If you don’t buy any laptop, you can also go ahead and make a claim for other lifestyle-related purchases. Just remember that you can only claim up to RM2,500 (keep all of your receipts!). Check out the full list of the eligible purchases below:

  • Books, magazines, and printed newspaper (except banned reading materials)
  • Personal computer, smartphone, or tablet
  • Sports equipment (except motorised two-wheel bicycles)
  • Monthly internet subscriptions 
  • Gym memberships

Here's good news. Since most people are still WFH, working on a rotational basis and doing online classes, this would lighten the monetary load off a little bit, right?


2. Get your medical checkup and swab test for COVID-19!

Type: Medical check-up
Maximum relief amount: RM1,000 for medical check-ups (including COVID-19 swab test and RTK test kits), and RM8,000 for  serious disease-related medical & fertility expenses 

We don’t mean to scare you, but how sure are you that you’re 100% healthy? There are so many diseases nowadays, especially as we’re in the global pandemic...

With that said, it’s better to get a full medical check-up and put your mind at ease once and for all. The government allows up to RM1,000 (with swab test and RTK test kits) income tax relief for a complete medical check-up, so if you haven’t had one this year, make use of that benefit and make an appointment with your doctor today!

IF *knocks on wood* you’re diagnosed with a serious disease such as cancer or heart attack, you can claim up to RM8,000 income tax relief for your medical expenses. Bear in mind that you're only allowed to claim for the listed serious diseases by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, so check first before you make a claim for your medical expenses!


3. Get tax relief for your EPF and life insurance premiums

Type: EPF and life insurance
Maximum relief amount: RM7,000 (combined) 

We know, we know, life is hard enough without having to pay for the adult stuff left and right. But if our super nice gahmen gives us an income tax relief for both our EPF deductions and life insurance premiums of up to RM7,000, be a smart Malaysian and make sure you claim it to the max!

If you don’t have a medical or life insurance policy, it’s not too late to get one! Check out our list of questions you need to ask your insurance agent before signing up for one.

Also, here’s a secret income tax tip that not everyone knows; did you know that if you have a life insurance policy with an attached Major/Critical Illness rider, you can claim 60% of the total annual premium paid under the medical insurance tax relief category (limited to RM3,000)? Here’s how this can work out to your advantage, let’s just say your..

EPF deductions/contributions: RM7,000
Life insurance annual premium: RM800
Medical insurance annual premium: RM2,600

So you’ve maxed out your income tax relief with your EPF deductions/contributions. But does that mean you can't claim the premiums you've paid for your life insurance policy at all? NO. First, check if your life insurance policy has a Major/Critical Illness rider (die-die must check or you could be fined or imprisoned!). You can call your insurance provider directly if your agent goes MIA, but you might be able to find this information on your annual statement, here's a sample on how it might look like:

Once you've made sure that your life insurance policy qualifies for the 60% income tax relief, calculate it according to your annual statement. For example, from the above scenario we can take 60% of the total life insurance premium (60% x RM800 = RM480) and include it with the medical insurance/education insurance tax relief claim (RM2,600 + RM480 = RM3,080).

Of course, you can only make a claim for RM3,000, but hey at least you can now claim the maximum amount for BOTH income tax relief categories!

4. Even MORE tax relief if you have medical and education insurance

Type: Medical/education insurance
Maximum relief amount: RM3,000 (combined)

Sure, you have employee medical benefits, but what will you do if *double knock on wood* you get fired or can no longer work due to whatever reason? How will you pay for your medical bills if you get sick or injured then?  

If it’s the premium costs you’re worried about, you can stop worrying now. Are you aware that you’re entitled to up to RM3,000 income tax relief for both medical and education (for your children) insurance premiums? Not only you’ll have your very own medical insurance coverage, but you also get to reduce a lot of taxable income! 


5. Another reason to spend money on your parents

Type: Parental living and medical expenses
Maximum relief amount: RM8,000 (medical, special needs & carer expenses) or RM6,000 (purchase of basic supporting equipment for disabled self, spouse, child or parent) 

We kid, we kid. We know you’re a good son/daughter and give duit belanja to your parents every month. But did you know that you can claim income tax relief of up to RM8,000 for their medical, special needs and carer expenses?

Also, another thing if your parents or one of them is disabled. You can claim up to RM6,000 if you buy basic supporting equipment for them. 

This isn’t a drill, people. Start saving all the medical bills and living expenses that you’ve paid for your parents and save on income tax today! 

6. Husband and wife thingy also can claim

Type: Husband and wife
Maximum relief amount: RM4,000 for husband / wife / alimony payment to ex wife & RM5,000 for diabled husband / wife 

Let's say your husband or wife doesn’t work or need to pay income tax. If that’s the case, you claim up to RM4,000. The same goes if you (the husband) are paying alimony to your ex-wife.

Another thing, if your husband or wife is disabled, you can claim tax relief up to RM5,000. It’s just that there’s a requirement - they have to register with the Department of Social Welfare (JKM).

7. Have children? More to claim!

Type: Children under your care
Maximum relief amount: RM2,000 to RM8,000 for children under your care (below/above 18 years old), RM1,000 if you buy breastfeeding equipments & RM3,000 for child care fees

Important keyword for you to take note of - unmarried. If you still have children that are still not married and still studying, here are several types of tax relief that you can claim:

  • Not married and under 18 years old: RM2,000
  • Not married but over 18 years old (still studying or taking up professional courses): RM8,000
  • Disabled child: RM6,000
  • Disabled child over 18 years old; not married yet and still studying (diploma within Malaysia or degree abroad): RM8,000

P/s: If you have little children below 2 years old, there are few more tax reliefs that you can claim. First, you can claim RM1,000 when you buy breastfeeding equipments. Second, you can get another RM3,000 for your child care fees (up to 6 years old).


8. Travelling domestically during pandemic!

Type: Tourism
Maximum relief amount: RM1,000 (Restricted)

To help the tourism industry recover, the gahmen decided to give RM1,000 tax relief if you travelled domestically. This is only for those that paid for accommodation and entrance fees. You just need to make sure that the establishment is registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) - check here

So, if you’ve travelled on and after 1 March 2020, don’t forget to claim this as well ya. It’s not often the gahmen helps pay for your trips…


Don’t wait until the last minute, start drafting your YA 2021 income tax NOW

If it means you can save more of your hard-earned money, feel free to be as kiasu as you want when filing your income tax! In fact, go on the Inland Board Revenue of Malaysia's website and find out if you're entitled to other income tax reliefs.

It only takes a few seconds, and it might help you get more income tax refund and finally buy that new car you've been dreaming about. Happy submitting your claims!

*The above article is intended for informational purposes only. Loanstreet accepts no responsibility for loss that may arise from reliance on information contained in the articles.



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About the Author

Team Loanstreet

Run by a professional human-sized team, get resourceful tips & guides from our very own library of financial articles that can help improve your financial lifestyle & make a well-informed money decision. We strive to provide you with the best service in helping you to get the most out of that DUIT!


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