Thursday, 28 May 2015

The few silver linings of GST

One of the best positives to come out of the GST implementation in Malaysia is that Malaysians are more aware of their consumer rights than ever before. When you have sites set up like http://check-service-charge.herokuapp.com/, which was mentioned in a previous post, it goes to show the amount of effort that Malaysians will now go to to ensure their consumer rights are protected.



More and more are keeping their receipts instead of throwing them away, just to keep track of how much of their expenses are being taxed. This will naturally lead to more prudent spending as people become more aware of how much they are spending on specific goods and how much of it goes to the government.

Anyone on Facebook will remember that when GST was launched last month, a plethora of receipt images were posted for comparison to help identify what was done correctly and what wasn't. Awareness of consumer rights have shot up in a big way.

Let's face it though, with the implementation of GST, fraudsters will also be out to make a quick buck, and only yesterday, there was an attempted scam when a syndicate tried to get a woman to pay GST charges for an imported parcel. Don't forget all those traders trying to dupe customers into paying inflated prices either. Better awareness among consumers will go a long way to ensure they will realise the various scenarios they can get caught in.



Another nice side effect was the service charge debacle, as more employees in the service industry also ended up getting their rights protected with the Collective Agreement requirement. I'm quite certain that there were employees out there who never knew what the service charge was supposed to be for.

And finally, when 2015 ends, I wouldn't be surprised if people totalled up their total GST tax paid and compared it with their Income Tax Return which will inevitably lead to louder calls for reductions in the Income Tax rates.

The GST juggernaut rolls on...

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