When implementing GST, the accounting software you use can really be the determinant as to how smooth the process will be. And where Malaysia is concerned, right now, it has to be flexible enough to be able to adapt to ever changing circumstances.
Prior to GST being effective, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) had issued Guide to Enhance Your Accounting Software to be GST Compliant. Let's face it though, there were still a lot of gray areas that weren't addressed and as such, companies had to make some tough calls more often than not, praying they would not come afoul of RMCD's interpretation of the law.
On the 20th of July 2016, the RMCD finally issued a revised edition, almost two years after the original came out. This was quickly followed by another revision on the 1st of August 2016. Let's take a quick look at some of the changes.
Arguably the biggest change to the guide is the addition of an entire FAQ section with 23 Q&As answering all manner of queries with regards to accounting software related matters. These include questions on tax codes, the GST Audit File (GAF), the GST Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) File and the GST-03 return itself. The FAQs were clearly built based on taxpayer feedback and hopefully this will help address some of the accounting software related issues that have come up for taxpayers since GST was implemented.
For example, with regards to the GAF, the FAQ section explicitly says that should you wish to use a different format than that prescribed in the Guide due to system constraints, you may apply to the RMCD to do so. Companies will welcome this, especially those who have had issues trying to adhere to the prescribed standard GAF format.
In other amendments, the Guide now explains that accounting software must be able to record all supplies based on the Malaysia Standard Industry Codes which the users have registered based on their business industry. The amendments also include some restrictions on using your own exchange rate for accounting purposes as well as amendments to the section on partial exemption.
Finally, the revised Guide also includes new and amended recommended tax codes to help cover various scenarios that may not have been covered properly under the previous tax codes.
So as you can see, there are quite a few significant changes have been made to the new Guide and all companies should take the time to understand how the Guide can assist their ongoing GST implementation. Admittedly, the English can be questionable at times so do read the Guide carefully.
The new Guide, Guide on Accounting Software Enhancement towards GST Compliance, as well as all other GST guides, can be downloaded from the RMCD website.
one in Kuala Lumpur (19 Aug) and one in Penang (14 Sep).