KUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (FOMCA) has called upon the taxman to throw a lifeline to Malaysians by pushing back the due date for their income tax returns.
FOMCA president Datuk Dr Marimuthu Nadason said although the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) has extended the deadline for submission of Income Tax Return Form (ITRF) BE from May 15 to June 30, many are beleaguered as they are still finding it difficult to make ends meet.
"It is going to be agony to the people with very little money in hand to come up with payment to LHDN in these trying times," he said in a statement, today.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected every one, with many forced to take pay cuts and no-pay leave, while others lost their jobs altogether.
"People are just coming out from their homes and starting to restructure and looking into their livelihoods," he said.
As such, Marimuthu urged LHDN to push the deadline for ITRF submission to the end of September.
He added that with this extension, taxpayers would be able to focus on their livelihoods, such as looking for a job or several jobs to increase their incomes.
"The actual scenario of how badly the people were hit was clearly visible at queues at pawn shops as soon as the MCO was lifted.
"There was also a lot of hue and cry over electricity bills which were exorbitant. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) came up with a good solution to help the public.
"LHDN should indeed follow in their footsteps," Marimuthu said.
He added that an alternative for LHDN to ease taxpayers' burden is to collect taxes via an installment payment mode.
"This method will in fact pose a win-win situation, as the agency would be able to collect taxes, while taxpayers would not feel the pinch of forking out a big chunk of their savings.
"At the end of the day, the coffer is safe within LHDN and the taxpayer will not go through mental stress as many of them are going through now. This would enable the people to recover," he said.
Marimuthu also called upon LHDN not to penalise or impose fines or penalties on late payments, as every single ringgit saved by taxpayers can be utilised to buy essentials or for rainy days.
"There is no certainty, as the Movement Control Order might be re-imposed if the pandemic goes beyond control. The government agencies must do their part in assisting the public at large when they need it most," he added.