Indirect Tax - Service Tax & Sales Tax


Service Tax


Service Tax is a form of indirect tax imposed on specified services called "taxable services". Service tax cannot be levied on any service which is not included in the list of taxable service.


A service tax applies to certain prescribed goods and services in Malaysia including food, drinks and tobacco; provision of rooms for lodging and premises for meetings, conventions, and cultural and fashion shows; health services, and provision of accommodation and food by private hospitals.


The tax also applies to professional and consultancy services provided by accountants, advocates and solicitors, engineers, architect,  surveyors (including valuers, assessors and real estate agents), advertising agencies, consultancy firms, management service provider, insurance companies, motor vehicle service and repair centres, telecommunication services companies, security and guard services agencies, recreational clubs, estate agents, parking space services operators and courier service firms.


However, professional services provided by a company to companies within the same group will be exempted from the current service tax of 6%. Courier services provided from a point within Malaysia to a destination outside Malaysia will also be exempted from the service tax of 6%.


Generally, the imposition of service tax is subject to a specific threshold based on an annual turnover ranging from RM150,000 to RM500,000.



Sales Tax


Sales tax is a single stage tax imposed at the import or manufacturing levels. In Malaysia, manufacturers of taxable goods are required to be licensed under the Sales Tax Act 1972. Companies with a sales turnover of less than RM100,000 and companies with Licensed Manufacturing Warehouse(LMW) status are exempted from this licensing requirement. However, companies with a sales turnover of less than RM100,000 have to apply for a certificate of exemption from licensing.


Licensed manufacturers are taxed on their output while manufacturers that are not licensed or exempted from licensing need to pay tax on their inputs. To relieve small-scale manufacturers from paying sales tax upfront on their inputs, they can opt to be licensed under the Sales Tax Act 1972 in order to purchase tax-free inputs. With this, small-scale manufacturers can opt to pay sales tax only on their finished products.


Sales tax is generally at 10%. However, raw materials and machinery for use in the manufacture of taxable goods are eligible for exemption from the tax, while inputs for selected non-taxable products are also exempted.


Certain non-essential foodstuffs and building materials are taxed at 5%, general goods at 10%, liquor at 20% and cigarettes at 25%. Certain primary commodities, basic foodstuffs, basic building materials, certain agricultural implements and heavy machinery for use in the construction industry are exempted. Certain tourism and sports goods, books, newspapers and reading materials are also exempted.