The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) claims that the goods and services tax (GST) has increased costs for small businesses.
This is according to its 2016 SME taxation survey report, which found that a majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) recorded increased financial costs one year after GST's implementation.
"Although the government had repeatedly emphasised that GST will not add financial burden to businesses, the survey result, however revealed... that, more than 80 percent of the respondents indicated that it has increased their costs of operation,” said ACCCIM president Ter Leong Yap.
Meanwhile, 58 percent of respondents reported cash flow problems due to GST, though this represents a small drop from 68 percent in 2015.
The survey polled 806 respondents and was conducted from April 29 to May 31 this year, mainly through ACCCIM's 17 constituent chambers located throughout the country.The objective of the survey was to understand the challenges faced by Malaysian businesses after the implementation of GST.
Once challenge highlighted in the survey was SME's lack of awareness regarding updates on GST-related information from the Royal Customs and Excise Department.
The survey also showed that 79 percent of SMEs had their applications for the special sales tax refund rejected, without knowing knowing why.
And amongst 210 respondents who are facing delays in claiming their input tax, 36 percent said they were not informed of any reason nor received any reply to their queries to the department.