22 Oktober 2009

Board under fire for late tax refunds. Petikan NewStraitsTimes 20/10/2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The auditor-general took the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to task for late settlement of some RM648.7 million in tax refunds between 2006 and last year.

Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, in his report, said the delay ranged from 10 days to two years for manually-filed statements and up to a year for those who used e-filing.

He said while there were various factors that contributed to the delays, a major reason was poor staff allocation to match workload.

"The IRB needs to study the actual number of staff needed to manage tax returns at each collection branch or unit so that it is in line with the workload."

The report stated that IRB must stick to the time given to settle tax refunds as set in its customer charter to improve its delivery system.

Ambrin stressed the customer charter must also be "clear and specific" as to procedures related to tax refunds.

He said taxpayers must be informed of their responsibility to follow what was required of them when filing their taxes to avoid future delays.

The report also highlighted 16 cases where IRB wrongly gave more than RM2 million in tax refunds.

Of the cases, four involved company transactions worth RM2.33 million while the rest involved individual transactions worth RM11,721.

Ambrin said IRB must take immediate steps to recover the excess refunds.

He said to make sure such incidents did not happen again, the board needed to create a common format so all branches could prepare uniform tax returns.

Ambrin pointed out that IRB also needed to prepare annual reports for the purpose of auditing, as they were unable to establish the true balance remaining in the fund.

Between 2006 and last year, IRB received 1,834,094 cases.

It has completed 1,788,006 or 97.5 per cent of the cases, with 20,212 still being processed and another 25,776 pending.

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