Malaysia GST may lead stillness in its local property market

As reported by local media, after the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in April 2015, real estate and cars are expected to see stillness in the markets.

According to independent assurance, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton, the same had happened in the United Kingdom and Australia when the value added taxes were introduced in 1973 and 2010, respectively.

“The lull in the property market in Australia could last for about three months. Businesses should be mindful of this,” said Grant Thornton real estate & construction global industry leader and tax partner Sian Sinclair.

“Consumers held back for a time and we foresee the same happening here. Depending on your sales tax, it may or may not be the same for cars. In Australia, GST made buying cars cheaper so everyone waited for that.”

At the same time, businesses need to ensure their contacts allow GST clauses to their sales and rent agreement, or businesses making taxable supplies at the standard rate could see their profits decreasing by 5.66% if they have to account for GST out of their receipts, said Grant Thornton’s head of indirect tax in the UK Lorraine Parkin, who is also Grant Thornton Malaysia’s senior executive director for GST.

“However, hidden GST cost may occur in residential developments as developers won’t be able to reclaim the GST incurred in running costs.

“It’ll either impact the bottom line or alter the unit value of residential premises,” she said, adding that as of last week, only 3% of businesses in general had registered for the GST.

Parkin added that businesses making mixed supplies will need to consider a partial exemption recovery method and be prepared to undertake capital goods adjustment.

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