PETALING JAYA, Aug 31 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has questioned today who should take the blame for the failure to refund excess income tax and real property gains tax totalling RM16.046 billion, as at the end-May 2018.
Lim said the police recorded his statement yesterday on the matter and are investigating the case under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, following a report that was lodged on August 23 by Keranji assemblyman Chong Zhe Min.
“What the previous government did can be considered as account falsification and misappropriation of funds for other purposes or hide their deficit to project a positive outlook of the situation.
“Who should be responsible? Former finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak or former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah? Or both of them?” he asked in a statement.
He said to date, Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) records showed it had failed to refund 1,653,786 taxpayers — most of them companies — for the past six years.
According to the data provided, RM4.593 billion, or 29 per cent of the total owed, was not paid for more than six years, followed by RM6.125 billion, or 38 per cent, that went unpaid for two to three years.
Records showed RM12.417 billion owed to companies and RM3.629 billion owed to individuals, foundations and associations was not refunded because of insufficient amounts in the Tax Refund Trust Fund after the Accountant General’s Department revealed only RM1.486 billion remained in the trust fund, as of May 31 this year.
“In other words, there is an inadequacy of RM14.56 billion and government revenues of the previous administration were incorrectly reported and overreported,” Lim said, adding that a letter request issued in 2016 by the LHDN director-general to request the transfer of funds was ignored by Irwan Serigar.