GST on maintenance fees for residential properties

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Read any reports recently about some groups of people holding some banners saying that it is unfair that GST will be levied on the maintenance fees for residential units? For example, those high rise ones? There has also been a report on the fact that some high end high rises may be exempted because somehow the total maintenance fees collected are below the threshold of RM500,000 per year. As usual, many twists and turns would be seen because more often that not, it would have been manipulated by certain parties. GST is not something new to the world. It is new to Malaysia but whatever calculations used to derive at 6% versus the world is based on actual numbers. In fact, majority of all these seemingly new questions being posed have already been addressed in other countries. For example, GST on maintenance fees. If I read correctly, this is also already applicable for Australia and Singapore too.

As someone who is staying in a condo and paying maintenance fees on a quarterly basis, I would also not want GST to be levied. This would add to the overall costs. However, I would like to point out that when something is right, it should just be implemented without fear and favour and not because of some public outcry, it is then delayed etc. Many of us have often questioned why this, why that but fact remains and it should just be accepted. Oh yeah, another reason why the GST should not follow like Singapore is because Singapore is already a high-income nation and Malaysia is still not. I seriously doubt that the Singaporean government decided to levy GST on the maintenance fees after they realised they are high income nation instead of what the usual procedure is, for GST.

Oh yeah, if these complaints / requests are successful, I would be happy too as I also get to enjoy but sorry to say that I am not supportive of exemptions everywhere which made the GST seem way too complicated. Already the items list itself I felt that it was way too long but always remember that the GST list for all countries would be longer year after year and never shorter. As Malaysia started very late, the list is of course much longer than the other countries who started earlier than us. Back then, their list is likely to be much shorter. Do I support GST? Yes. Do I support taking off subsidies? Yes for those who can afford and No for those who really need them. Current BR1M method? Well, it really is not effective or efficient enough and should be improved. Instead of cash, I would prefer vouchers for the necessity instead. Giving cash is not the correct way. Yes, this is my view about GST on maintenance fees for high rises.

written on 27 Nov 2014

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