Guan Eng: Regardless of accounting system, RM16b tax refunds still missing

Boo Su-Lyn
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the outstanding RM16 billion tax refunds that the government owes taxpayers still cannot be found in the refund account regardless of which accounting method is used. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — The outstanding RM16 billion tax refunds that the government owes taxpayers still cannot be found in the refund account regardless of which accounting method is used, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

He disputed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claims that the money, owed for more than six years to 1.65 million individuals and companies, was actually not missing because Najib’s administration used modified cash accounting, not the accruals accounting standard.

According to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), and as verified by the Accountant General’s Department, whereby the modified cash basis is used and as was mentioned by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, it is found that the credit balance which has yet to be returned to the tax payers stand at RM16.046 billion as of 31st May 2018,” Lim said in a statement.

He accused former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar of not transferring sufficient funds to the Fund for Tax Refund (TBBC) as requested by LHDN.

It should be emphasised that pursuant to Section 111B(2) of the Income Tax Act 1967, only the Minister of Finance has the power to make any decisions pertaining to the funds to be transferred from the Consolidated Funds to the TBBC,” said Lim.

Najib said yesterday that under modified cash accounting, assets were not capitalised and liabilities were not recorded in financial reports.

The former finance minister claimed Lim was mistaken in saying that the previous Barisan Nasional government had misreported outstanding tax refunds as revenue.

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