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Monday, June 24, 2019

Yong: Gov't should not introduce 'cruel' Inheritance Tax

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee has urged the government not to introduce the proposed "inheritance tax" or "estate duty", which he described as 'cruel'.

This Inheritance Tax was speculated to be in this year's Budget but due to much opposition caused by other new taxes, it was shelved.

"We should look at the broader implications of governing policy on family. One issue of concern today is that the possibility the inheritance tax being labeled next year.

"And, we approach another Budget Day, we must voice the views of the people that they cannot withstand another new tax.

"In the 2019 budget, we are already hit with four new taxes - soda tax, exit tax (for Malaysians travelling outside the country), imports of vice tax and the five per cent property gains tax imposed on individuals," he said at the SAPP Parents Day celebration yesterday.

Yong also noted that before 2019, transfer of properties from one person to another person was not subject to property gains tax after five years of ownership.

"This means, if a person buys a property at RM1 million and after 5 years sold it for RM1.5 million, he does not have pay tax on the gains of RM0.5 million.

"But if the owner or seller of the property is a company (not an individual person), then there is a gains tax. But with effect from this year onwards, there will be a five per cent tax on the gains without time limit. "After five years, 10 years or 20 years, whatever is gained will be taxed even if the property is owned by an individual," Yong explained.

He said a troubling concern today was that there was talk among tax consultants that government might impose the inheritance tax which is a tax on the property, money or possessions of a person who has passed away.

"For instance, a parent leaves a RM1 million house to his child. If the tax is six per cent, then the child who inherited the house has to pay RM60,000 to the government.

"In some countries, there were cases of children who had no money to pay the tax. So, the house has to be sold to raise funds to pay the tax.

"In the case of a family home, it will be painful for the surviving family to sell the house," he said.

He thus said the inheritance tax essentially would not allow parents or grandparents to pass on their family properties to their children or grandchildren, without making them pay taxes.

As such, he called on the government to declare that it would not introduce the inheritance tax.

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