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Sunday, 16 November 2014

No GST on gadgets used by disabled

There will be no Goods and Services Tax (GST) imposed on gadgets and equipment used by the disabled community. 

However, in order to be entitled to the relief, private charity organisations and donors of such equipment would have to produce a certificate signed by the head of the organisation concerned, which has to be registered with the Social Welfare Department, said Royal Malaysian Customs Department GST director Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy.

He gave his assurance that the disabled community would not be affected by the implementation of the GST on April 1.

According to the Goods and Services Tax (Relief) Order 2014, the items granted relief include artificial limbs, wheelchairs, electrically or mechanically adjustable beds designed for the physically disabled, braille embossers, pick-up sticks, text telephones for the speech impaired, whistling cups and white canes for the visually impaired, specialised footwear, and hearing and low-vision aids.

The order stipulates that the goods eligible for tax relief must be “specially designed, adapted or manufactured” for the exclusive use of people with disabilities, and must be “given free or sold at a nominal value” to the members of the private charitable entity concerned.

Subromaniam advised the disabled community to get whatever gadgets or equipment they needed from their respective associations, pointing out that they would have to pay the GST if they chose to buy the items individually from stores or the suppliers.

Sign language interpreter Azlina Mohamed Isa welcomed the tax relief.

“Most disabled people don’t have to buy such items as they are donated by the various charity organisations, government agencies, foundations and even by political parties such as Umno,” she said.

Meanwhile, Subromaniam urged organisations serving the disabled community to approach his department to get in-depth briefings on the GST.

He said it was important for them to become familiar with the GST to avoid being cheated by unscrupulous businessmen.

Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) executive officer Muhammad Fairuz Abdullah said the association hoped to attend more briefings on the GST.

“Our members are generally aware of what the tax is about but we have to simplify the explanation to meet their level of understanding,” he said.

Source :  The Star , 14th Nov 2014 

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