IRB chief executive officer Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah said the programme offered several categories of taxpayers a lower penalty rate of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of the tax payable on unreported income.
Among the criteria of taxpayers who would receive the letters or emails are registered taxpayers who have yet to submit their Income Tax Return Form, Petroleum Return Form/Real Property Gains Tax Return Form and registered taxpayers who have failed to submit their income tax return forms in a regular manner.
In addition, registered taxpayers who have submitted the above forms but are found to have tax compliance issues, among others, such as under-declaration of income and property gains or over-claiming of tax relief would also be issued email or letters.
“About 8.3 million letters and emails have been sent to registered taxpayers to notify them of the special voluntary disclosure programme which began on Nov 3, 2018 and would end on June 30, 2019,” he said in a statement.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, when announcing the 2019 Budget, said the programme was part of the government's initiative on tax reforms to encourage taxpayers to voluntarily declare their income and subsequently reduce the leakage of revenue.
Sabin added that those who have reported their income, expenses and related tax exemptions to IRB within the stipulated period can ignore the letters and emails sent to them. The voluntary declaration made within the period would also be accepted in good faith.
However, IRB advised taxpayers to be cautious with scam syndicates that would take advantage of this opportunity to cheat the public.
Taxpayers are advised to obtain confirmation on their status and further information on the programme from the nearest IRB offices or by contacting its careline at 1-800-88-5436 (local) or +603 7713 6666 (overseas) or email to [email protected]
Sabin also said similar programmes were also carried out by more than 20 countries, among others, the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, South Africa and Indonesia to encourage taxpayers to voluntarily declare their income.
This was in line with the Country-by-Country (CbC) Reporting initiative undertaken by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Malaysia implemented the CbC in September 2017, Sabin added.