1. Tax payable rate for 2020 remains the same as in 2019 except for those who are in the RM2 million chargeable income bracket.
|Chargeable Income (RM)||Tax Rate 2019||Tax Rate 2020|
|1 - 5,000||0%||0%|
|5,001 - 20,000||1%||1%|
|20,001 - 35,000||3%||3%|
|35,001 - 50,000||8%||8%|
|50,001 - 70,000||14%||14%|
|70,001 - 100,000||21%||21%|
|100,001 - 250,000||24%||24%|
|250,001 - 400,000||24.5%||24.5%|
|400,001 - 600,000||25%||25%|
|600,001 - 1,000,000||
|1,000,001 - 2,000,000||28%||28%|
Perhaps some of you are wondering what’s chargeable income? How to calculate this? Say no more, here's the equation:
Chargeable Income = Total annual income – Tax exemptions – Tax Reliefs
For better understanding, let’s take a look at this example - meet Danial and his details.
Based on the info above and equation given previously, Danial chargeable income would be:
Chargeable income = RM65,200 - RM1,600 - (RM9,000 + RM6,000 + RM1,800 + RM950)
Tax payable = RM45,850 x 8% (tax rate)
2. You can’t claim tax relief for a non-vocational educationThis can be confusing because at first the government said can, but now cannot, so which one leh? Well, according to LHDN, if you’re pursuing a certificate/diploma, bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Anthropology - basically non-vocational - you’re not eligible for the education tax relief. The only categories of courses that eligible are Law, Accounting, Islamic Financing, Technical, Vocational, Industrial, Scientific, and Technology.
That said, if you’re pursuing non-vocational courses at the Master’s or Doctorate level, then you can take advantage of this tax relief. You can claim up to RM7,000. Perhaps, you should make a wise choice when it comes to this life decision - pursuing what you like or paying less tax?
3. Moms with babies, you can get extra tax reliefTaking care of a baby isn’t cheap - you don’t need to have a baby to know this. We googled for breast pump price in Malaysia and was shocked by the price tag. The price starts from RM45 to more than RM500. Never thought running a mini food factory can cost you this much.
This is why the government is giving tax relief of up to RM1,000 for the breastfeeding types of equipment - to lessen the financial burden for the breastfeeding working mothers. So what are the requirements?
- The types of breastfeeding equipment that are entitled to this tax relief are the breast pump kit (manual and electronic), ice pack, breast milk collection/storage equipment and a cooler set/bag.
- Anything above RM1,000 CAN’T be claimed. So spend your money wisely, mothers.
- It’s only available for women who paid tax. So men CAN’T claim this tax, which is fair because you guys don’t produce milk.
- You are only allowed to claim the money once every two years. So, if you claim the amount in 2021, the next claim can only be made in 2023.
4. Additional tax relief for the ex-husband who pays for alimony to ex-wife
Yup, a maximum relief of RM4,000 can be claimed by a husband who pays for alimony to his ex-wife. But, if there's no legally binding agreement, it can't qualify as tax relief. So, make sure that your affairs are in order.
When it comes to claiming tax relief, many people got this part wrong. LHDN states in the Income Tax Act that the tax relief for sports equipment is only eligible for those used in sporting activities defined in the Sports Development Act 1997. This is to encourage you to live a healthier life.
5. So, sports attire isn’t sports equipment...
This means equipment like dumbbell, shuttlecocks, nets, rackets, golf set, and more are considered sports equipment. Meanwhile, jerseys, sports shoes, pants, swimsuits are considered as sports attire, which means you can’t claim a lifestyle tax relief.
You may be dissatisfied and said, “How to swim without swimsuits?” or “Are we supposed to run barefoot?”. But hey, that’s the requirements and if you look at the dictionary, these two words - attire and equipment, have a different meaning. If you’re stubborn, you can still make that claim. Just know what to answer lah when there’s an audit and you have to pay for the fine/penalty.
6. There’s a tax rebate for Muslims who paid ZakatTo those who aren't familiar, Zakat is a payment made annually by Muslims under Islamic law. It’s a way for a person to ‘cleanse’ his/her earnings because some of the money earned may not be halal due to imperfections of the system. This money is also used to help those who are in need.
And in Malaysia, those who paid Zakat (any type of Zakat) can get a tax rebate. Why? Well, due to both income tax and zakat, there is the concern that Muslims will end up paying double the amount of tax. Koyaklah pocket like this. Anyway, the amount of rebate is limited to the total tax charged. Don’t quite get it? Fret not, here’s an example:
Miss Adibah needs to pay RM1050 for her income tax for the Year of Assessment 2019. Additionally, Miss Adibah had also paid RM650 for Zakat on Income, RM430 for Zakat on Savings and RM21 for Zakat Fitrah.
Tax Payable - Zakat paid
RM1050 - (RM650 + RM430 + RM21)
RM1050 - RM1101 = - RM51
Miss Adibah don’t have to pay any income tax at all because of the zakat rebate. And, if she's doing a monthly tax reduction (PCB), she can get a tax refund for the balance. You too can do the same, just make sure to pay your Zakat before 1 January of every year to be able to claim a tax rebate.
ALSO READ: How To Calculate Zakat On Your Investment?
7. A person with a mental health condition can also claim a tax reliefJust to break the stigma, not everyone with mental illness is locked at Tanjung Rambutan. Some of them are still part of the functioning member of society. It means they still go to work and need to pay tax. So, if you feel that you’re in this ‘category’, guess what? You can claim tax relief for your meds, therapy and check-up that is under the Medical Expenses under Serious Disease up to RM6,000.
Some of you may ask, “What other serious illnesses that are eligible for tax relief?”. Well, according to LHDN, cancer, heart attack, pulmonary hypertension, renal failure, chronic liver disease, fulminant viral hepatitis, brain tumour, major burns, major organ transplant, Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, major amputation of limbs, head trauma, chronic skin disease, diabetes mellitus, major Thalassemia, Rheumatology and Leukemia are considered as serious illnesses.
And if you did a complete medical checkup (for you, spouse or children), you can also claim tax relief of RM500.
8. Married couples can choose to do a joint tax assessmentYes, you read that right! Married couples have a choice to file a joint tax assessment with their spouse as stated in Section 45 of Malaysia’s Income Tax Act 1967. What’s great about this is that both will save money. If the husband or wife earns less than RM4,000, then it’s advisable to file it jointly. This will allow you to make use of the additional spouse relief of RM4,000. This is what we called teamwork.
But, if any of you (wife or husband) earns more than RM4,000, you guys might want to consider a separate assessment so that each of you can take advantage of the RM9,000 individual relief. Plus, you can also maximise other applicable reliefs that can help bring down the taxable income for both of you to a lower tax bracket.
This is, of course, one of the big decisions married couples need to think about. One way to find out which can give you the biggest tax savings is to double-check your calculations and then look at the balance due from each method - joint or separate. You can do this via e-filing, where you get to see the tax due for each individual and compare it with the joint assessment.
Maximise your tax relief as much as you can!We hope this list will help you to maximise your tax relief. Don’t forget to track all of the receipts needed (keep them for at least 7 years) and remember to file your income tax before the due date which is on the 30 April 2021 (15 May 2021 for e-filing) for those who only received employment income!
Having said that, the deadline would usually be extended. But to be safe, it’s better to get it done ASAP, people. Once that is done, do keep track of your bank account as the government would be refunding tax paid in excess if you have any.
Oh, one more thing - here’s another bonus tip to help you pay less tax. Try to talk to your manager or HR if your income can be arranged in a way that non-taxable allowance is increased instead of basic salary like travelling allowance, parking allowance, dental allowance, etc. This can help you to reduce your income tax.
Other than that, we urge you not to take income tax lightly you know - can kena penalty/fine if you keep avoiding to pay. Even after you die, you’d still need to pay if you owe the government tax payable. After all, these taxes are what funds low-cost medical services like government clinics and hospitals, the building of roads and highways, the provision of public transport, etc. So let’s be a responsible citizen.
Happy tax season!
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- The Complete Income Tax Guide 2021
*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.