Friday, 14 February 2020

Singapore continues to clamp down on PDPA breaches

While the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) had come into effect in phases from 2013 to 2014, effectively at least 5 years ago, it is quite alarming to find that the number of breaches reached an all time high in 2019.

41 organisations were slapped with fines in 2019, while plenty more were given directions and warnings to put necessary policies and practices in place. The total penalties appear to have reached more than $1.6m for 2019. Arguably, this was skewed by the $1m penalty dished out in respect of the incredible medical record data breach that occurred last year.

Nevertheless, for the start of 2020, at the time of this article, a total of 14 organisations were found in breach of the PDPA, with a total of $150,000 penalties already dished out! Unless Singapore organisations take the regulations more seriously, we could see the amount of breaches for 2020 overtake 2019.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Employment guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus

Author: Donovan Cheah (Partner, Donovan & Ho)

The Ministry of Human Resources has announced guidelines to employers for dealing with employment issues arising from the 2019 novel coronavirus infections (2019-nCoV) (“Guidelines”).
We have summarised the Guidelines below:

Medical examination
Employees who have returned from countries with 2019-nCoV cases should be examined immediately (at the expense of the employer) by a registered medical practitioner or by a medical officer to ascertain entitlement for sick leave under s 60F of the Employment Act (EA).

Paid sick leave during quarantined period

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Individual Tax Reliefs: Yay or Nay

The Tax season is just around the corner. Let's take a look at some of the claims that are eligible to be claimed for a Malaysian Tax Resident Individual for the Year of Assessment 2019.

a) Self and Dependent relatives - RM9,000

b) Spouse/payment of alimony to former wife - RM4,000

c) Each unmarried children below 18 years old - RM2,000

d) Each unmarried children above 18 years old & receiving further education - RM8,000

e) Disable child and disable individual - RM6,000

f) Disable spouse - RM3,500

g) EPF contributions - RM4,000

h) Breastfeeding equipment - RM1,000
     * Child 2 years and below and claimable only for women tax payers once every 2 years

i) Child care fees- RM1,000
    * must be a registered child care centre and claimable for child 6 years and below

 j) Sosco - RM250

k) Life Insurance - RM 7,000 (Pensionable Public servant category)
                             - RM3,000 (Other than Publis servant category)

l) Medical Expenses - RM6,000 (For serious disease)
                                  - RM500 (Full medical examination) 

      For Parents          - RM 5,000 (For parents undergoing treatments/special needs)
                                  - RM1,500 (For mother) 
                                  - RM1,500 (For father) 

m) Private Retirement Scheme - RM3,000

n) Education and medical insurance - RM3,000

o) Education fees - RM7,000 

p) Net deposit is SSPN - RM8,000

q) Lifestyle - RM2,500 (includes reading materials, Purchase of PC, Smartphone/Tablet, internet bill and sports equipment.) 

r) Supporting equipment - RM6,000 (For disable self, child, spouse or parent)

Happy BE filing everyone! :-) 

Monday, 6 January 2020

Taxation On Digital Services

This article is written by Lee Hishamuddin and Gledhill (LHAG) and was first published in their SST e-Alert in October 2019. Reproduced with permission from LHAG.

Effective from January 2020, there will be a 6% of service tax imposed on digital services in Malaysia  for both local and foreign service providers in order to comply with Malaysia's new Sales and Service tax. The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (Customs) recently issued a Guide on Digital Service Tax (Guide) to assist FSPs. This alert highlights some of the key points that FSPs should consider in assessing their liability prior to the implementation.The service tax is also applicable to online platforms that carry out transactions on behalf of overseas service providers but do issue invoice or any other document under their name.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Budget 2020

Since we will be entering 2020 soon, lets take a recap of some of the exciting Tax highlights of our Budget 2020. It was presented by our Finance Minister YB Lim Guan Eng on 11 October 2019.

Budget 2020 Higlights:-

* Corporate income tax rate for SME's will now be taxable at 17% for the first 600,000 of the company's chargeable income. 

* Also if SMEs are focusing on adopting digitization or if they are undertaking pilot projects on digital applications, then they might be entitled to grants and loans in 2020. 

* To encourage companies to participate in export fairs, the government will provide a tax relief up to RM 25,000 compared to RM 10,000 previously. Please note, this relief is upon approval and submission of certain documents required by Inland Revenue Board Of Malaysia (IRB). 

* Companies are allowed to claim or deduct 10% of approved donations made for the year. Cash Wakaf is now entitled to be deducted as well. 

* The Government has increased the relief for childhood care (Taska) to RM 2,000. It was RM 1,000 previously. 

* Individuals are now eligible to a tax relief of up to RM 6,000 for medical expenses which includes fertility for YA 2020. 

* Individuals with taxable income of RM 2 million and more will now be taxed at 30% instead of 28%. 

Lochana Nanthacumar
Content Management Analyst
Wolters Kluwer Malaysia 

Thursday, 5 December 2019

‘Tis the season to let your hair down… not your dignity

Author: Aaron Goonrey (Partner) and Luke Scandrett (Senior Associate) (Lander & Rogers)

This article was originally published in HRM Australia.

Most of us know that punching our boss in the face or commenting on a colleague’s body is off limits, but you’d be shocked about what rules get ignored at Christmas parties.
A well-planned Christmas party can do a lot for a workplace. Staff get an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the year gone by, and socialising outside of the office environment can lead to enhanced professional relationships between colleagues and boost morale for the year ahead.
But despite these potential benefits, the HR departments of many organisations find themselves overrun in January with claims arising from that often-fateful evening — whether they involve workplace injuries, physical assaults, sexual harassment, inappropriate drunken behaviour or some combination.

Monday, 2 December 2019

More Sales Tax Hikes Needed from Japan, IMF Says

The International Monetary Fund has proposed further changes to Japan's tax regime following the increase to its sales tax rate.

Japan's headline consumption tax rate was increased from eight percent to 10 percent on October 1, 2019. A reduced eight percent applies to the supply of foods and drinks – with the exception of liquors and restaurant services – and to subscription newspapers issued twice or more a week.

The consumption tax rate was last increased in 2014, when it rose from five percent to eight percent.

The IMF said that, relative to 2014, consumption has been less affected by October's rate hike, owing partly to countermeasures introduced by the Government. These measures include a tax allowance for automobile and house purchases, a point-reward program for cashless payments in SMEs, infrastructure investment, and additional spending for childcare and tertiary education.

Singapore continues to clamp down on PDPA breaches

While the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) had come into effect in phases from 2013 to 2014, effectively at least 5 years ago, it is qui...