Businesses with an annual sales turnover of more than RM500,000 are required to register with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), before Dec 31 this year.

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Customs Department Senior Assistant Director Chin Jek Bik said business owners who failed to comply with the instruction will be penalised up to RM20,000.

“A late registration penalty will be charged at a minimum RM1,500 and up to a maximum RM20,000 after 30 days of the GST implementation in April 2015”, she said at GST public talk here, Sunday.

However, businesses with less than RM500,000 in annual sales turnover could voluntarily register their companies, but will be bound by a two-year registration law, unless they closed their operation and companies during that period.

Registration can be made via online at gst.customs.gov.my or through a manual submission to the Customs Department in Kelana Jaya.

The GST will be implemented at a fixed rate of six per cent, replacing the existing sales and services tax.

It will not be imposed on basic food items such as rice, sugar, salt, flour and cooking oil.

Some of the other services exempted, include, government services such as issuance of passports and licences and healthcare services.

Meanwhile, Chin said the Customs Department will be distributing a shopper’s guide for the public to make a comparison in terms of prices before and after the GST is implemented. — BERNAMA