Competency of Malaysian Salaried Individuals in Relation to Tax Compliance under Self Assessment
Salaried individuals in Malaysia will commence to comply with the self assessment system when they file tax returns on income derived in the year 2004. However, under the self assessment regime, salaried individuals need to possess some fundamental tax knowledge to file appropriate returns. This study examines white collar salaried individuals’ tax knowledge, particularly in relation to chargeable income and exemptions as well as relief, rebates and tax credits that are generally available to individual taxpayers. The findings reveal that a majority of those surveyed are not able to identify the correct year for which a given income should be chargeable and do not know of the chargeability or exemption of certain income. Besides the personal relief for self, relief for a wife and some relief for children, most do not know of the other relief, rebates and tax credits available, and are not aware of the options available in relation to joint assessment. Although the majority of the respondents had tertiary education, the findings also reveal that they do not possess adequate knowledge on matters pertaining to personal taxation. As such they may lack the competency to file appropriate tax returns under the self assessment system.
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