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business in
Malaysia 2017

This Guide includes information obtained or derived
from a variety of publicly available sources. PwC
has not sought to establish the reliability of these
sources or verified such information. All such
information is provided “as is” and PwC does not give
any representation or warranty of any kind (whether
expressed or implied) about the suitability, reliability,
timeliness, completeness and accuracy of this
publication. This publication is for general guidance
only and should not be construed as professional
advice. Accordingly, it is not intended to form the
basis of any decision and you are advised to seek
specific professional advice on any transaction or
matter that may be affected by this publication before
making any decision or taking any action.



Malaysia has Malaysia has over the last 60

years developed from a
Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) in view of its
emerged as primary commodities exporter
to be a strong industrial base
strategic, central location and
multi-lingual “Truly Asia” mix
an attractive for foreign electrical and of Malay, Chinese and Indian

regional hub electronics multinational

corporations. As an oil and gas

for services. exporter, Malaysia has profited

from higher world energy
This Guide has been prepared
for the assistance of those
prices but the government interested in doing business in
recognizes the need to reduce Malaysia. The coverage of the
the dependence on petroleum subjects is not exhaustive but is
as the main source of revenue. intended to deal with some of
In the last decade, as it moved the more important and/or
up the industry value chain, broad questions that may arise.
Malaysia has emerged as an
attractive regional hub for The material contained in this
services, including financial Guide is based on legislation
services, information and as at 31 March 2017, unless
communications technology otherwise indicated.
(ICT) and logistics sectors.
Malaysia is increasingly being
recognised as an innovative
international Islamic financial
centre. It is also emerging
as a springboard or centre for
regional expansion into

PwC / 3

Chapter 1 Chapter 2
Investment environment Business formation and the
Location and climate regulatory environment
History and political background Business formation: types of business entities
Legal system General regulatory environment
People, languages and social patterns Raising capital
Economic structure Securities market
International trade Competition policy
Foreign investment Monopolies and antitrusts
Principal government agencies Price control and anti-profiteering
Mergers and acquisitions
Court system
Intellectual property rights
Controls on foreign exchange

Chapter 3
Labour relations and
social security
Employment regulations
Working conditions, wages/salaries and
statutory contributions
Foreign personnel


Chapter 4 Chapter 6 Introduction
Audit requirements and Personal taxation to PwC
accounting practices Scope of tax Appendices
Statutory requirements for Malaysian Taxable income
incorporated companies Basis of assessment
Statutory requirements for foreign Residence status of individuals
companies carrying business within
Rates of tax
Employment income
Financial Reporting Framework in
Malaysia Exemptions and concessional tax
treatment for foreign nationals
Auditing requirements
Tax rebates
Chapter 5 Filing obligations and tax collection
Business taxation Capital gains
Principle taxes
Income tax
Corporate tax system
Chapter 7
Tax administration
Other taxes
Transfer pricing Sales tax Export duties
Business reorganizations Service tax Excise duties
Goods and services tax Stamp duty
Import duties Other taxes

PwC / 5
Chapter 1

Location and climate

History and political background
Legal system
People, languages and social patterns
Economic structure
International trade
Foreign investment
Principal government agencies

PwC / 7
Location and climate

Malaysia is situated in Southeast The capital of Malaysia, the Federal

Asia, in the area bordered by Territory of Kuala Lumpur, is located
longitudes 100 degrees and 120 on the west coast of the peninsular,
degrees east and latitudes formed about 48 kilometers (30 miles) from
by the equator and 7 degrees north. the country’s main port, Port Klang.
The landmass of Malaysia comprises However, the seat of the Malaysian
Peninsula Malaysia, at the south government is now sited in Putrajaya,
eastern tip of the Asian mainland, which was developed to be the new
and East Malaysia, on the island of administrative capital of Malaysia
Borneo. About four fifths of Malaysia where all the main offices of the
(including Sabah and Sarawak) is various departments of the federal
covered by tropical rain forests. government are located. Putrajaya is
The entire country has a tropical situated 25 km from Kuala Lumpur
climate, which is warm and sunny and 20 km from the Kuala Lumpur
throughout the year with International Airport.
temperatures from about 33 degrees
Celsius in the afternoon to about 22 The bulk of commercial activity in
degrees Celsius during the night. Malaysia is concentrated in the Klang
The average annual rainfall is 2,712 Valley, which links Kuala Lumpur and
millimeters (about 107 inches). The Port Klang. The other principal
wettest months, particularly on the business centres in Peninsula Malaysia
east coast of Peninsula Malaysia are Penang, which is the oldest port in
and in East Malaysia, are during the the country; Johor Bahru, which has
monsoon, which blows from October a free port (Johor Port) and is linked
to March. to Singapore by two causeways;
Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in East
Malaysia are centres for the country’s
timber industry.


History and political background

The early development of Malaysia The Federation of Malaysia was states. The Head of State is the Yang
was linked to the strategic position established in 1963. It consisted of the di-Pertuan Agong (Paramount Ruler
of Peninsula Malaysia (then called 11 states of Malaya, Sabah (formerly or King), who is elected by the nine
Malaya) alongside the Straits of British North Borneo), Sarawak, and Malay hereditary rulers from among
Malacca, one of the world’s major Singapore. In 1965, Singapore left the their number to serve for a term of five
trade routes. Referred to in Greek Federation to become an independent years. The Paramount Ruler serves as
literature as the “Golden Chersonese,” republic. Malaysia now comprises 13 constitutional monarch, acting on the
it was the centre of the spice trade states and the federal territories of advice of a cabinet of ministers led by
that flourished in the 15th century, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan. the Prime Minister.
attracting traders from as far as Nine of these states are headed by
Portugal and England in the west hereditary rulers, the Sultans, who The federal legislature comprises
and China in the east, many of whom serve as constitutional heads of state. the Dewan Rakyat (House of
settled in the peninsular and were the The remaining four states are headed Representatives) and the Dewan
forebears of the country’s multiracial by Yang di-Pertua Negeri (governors), Negara (Senate). The Dewan Rakyat
population. Malaya, as it was known who are appointed for fixed terms of is a body of 222 members who are
at that time, consisted of a number office to serve as constitutional heads elected by Malaysian voters. The
of territories, each governed by a of state. Dewan Negara comprises 70 members,
Malay ruler. From the 1500s, parts 44 of whom are appointed by the Yang
of the peninsular fell at various Each state has its own written di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the
periods under the domination of the constitution and an elected legislative Prime Minister. The 13 state legislative
Portuguese, Dutch and British. By assembly. Each state government assemblies also elect two senators each
1914 the British had extended their is led by a Menteri Besar (Chief to represent their respective states in
influence over the whole of Malaya, Minister), who is appointed from the Dewan Negara.
and the peninsular came under British among the members of the legislative
protection. assembly. The division of powers A member of the Dewan Rakyat
between the various state governments who commands the confidence of
After World War II an independence on the one hand and the federal the majority of the members may be
movement arose, culminating in government on the other is defined appointed Prime Minister and may
independence for the 11 states in the Federal Constitution, which select cabinet ministers from among
comprising the Federation of Malaya provides for a parliamentary system the members of the Dewan Rakyat and
on August 31, 1957. of government, with a central the Dewan Negara. In practice,
federal government and a measure the overwhelming majority of cabinet
of autonomy for the 13 constituent ministers are drawn from the Dewan

PwC / 9
Legal system People, languages
and social patterns
The Malaysian legal system is Population All of the world’s major religions have
substantially based on the British substantial representation in Malaysia.
legal system and the principles of Malaysia has a total population of The official religion is Islam, and
common law. Matters brought before 31.7 million in 2016. The Malaysian persons of the Islamic faith constitute
the High Court may be population has a multi-ethnic, multi- more than half the total population.
appealed to the Court of Appeal and cultural composition, the dominant Free education is provided to pupils
later to the Federal Court, which racial group being the Malays, who between the ages of 7 and 17, and it
is the final court of appeal in the with other Bumiputra1 groups, make extends to 19 for those who attain the
country. Offences against Islamic law up 69% of the population. The rest of required academic standards. After
are tried by Syariah courts, which the population is made up of Chinese completion of their primary school
are set up by the respective state (23%), Indians (7%) and other education (which requires 6 years to
governments. Please refer to Chapter unlisted ethnic groups (1%). complete) the majority of students
2 for further details on the Malaysian continue their education in secondary
court system. Language, religion and education schools. They make up a pool of
young, educated and highly productive
Bahasa Malaysia, which is workers. Apart from government run
romanised Malay, is the official educational institutions ranging from
language. It is the language of kindergartens to vocational schools
administration for the federal and and universities which are under the
state governments. Correspondence care of the Ministry of Education,
from the government is in Bahasa there is an expanding system of
Malaysia, although certain private and international schools
government departments may accept and institutions of higher learning
correspondence in English. English, that cater to the educational needs of
taught as a second language in various level, including professional
schools, is widely used in business. and vocational training.

1. “Bumiputra” includes Malaysians

with cultural affinities indigenous
to the region, mainly the Malays
in West Malaysia, and various
other indigenous natives of Sabah
and Sarawak.


PwC / 11
Economic structure

Malaysia is an upper-middle income 2020. The NEM and ETP plans to move Framework of the industry
country, and one of the most the economy further up the value-
developed economies in the region, added chain by attracting investments Industry falls into three broad
with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and focusing on a knowledge-based categories:
per capita of US$9,546. It has an economy. 1. Indigenous small businesses, which
open economy that is highly trade were once largely concentrated
dependent, with trade reaching Economic sectors in light industry as well as in
161% of annual GDP according to wholesale and retail distribution
the World Trade Organization. The In terms of the magnitude of the and trading, have now successfully
country has progressed from an various economic activities, the service moved toward small- and medium-
economy dependent on agriculture sector is the largest contributor to scale industries (SMIs) through the
and primary commodities to one GDP, accounting for 53.5% of GDP government’s umbrella strategy.
that is manufacturing-based, and is in 2015. Major sub-sectors within SMI contribution to GDP is 35.9%
now transforming into a service- and services include: finance, real estate in 2015 and is expected to expand
knowledge-driven economy. and business services; wholesale to 41% by 2020.
and retail trade; and transport and 2. Large Malaysian corporations,
Malaysia’s real GDP growth has communications. The government many of which are listed on Bursa
averaged 6.4% per year since 1970, plans to develop the services Malaysia, previously known
outperforming most of its regional sector further, which is expected as the Kuala Lumpur Stock
peers. During this period, the economy to contribute 60% of GDP by 2020, Exchange. The shareholdings
began to diversify into a leading through initiatives such as the Services in these companies are largely
exporter of electrical appliances, Sector Blueprint. institutional, with significant
electronic parts and components, palm proportions held by government
oil, and natural gas. The manufacturing sector is placed trust agencies (sovereign wealth
second only to services, accounting fund). For instance, Government
In 2010, Malaysia launched the New for about 23.0% of GDP. Other major Linked Companies (GLCs) listed
Economic Model (NEM) and the economic activities in Malaysia include on Bursa Malaysia account for
Economic Transformation Program the mining and agriculture sectors, approximately 40% of the total
(ETP), which aims to develop the which account for about 9.0% and market capitalization at the end of
country into a high income nation by 8.9% of GDP respectively in 2015. 2016.


3. Local operations of multinationals (MNCs), most of which are majority-
owned by their foreign parent corporations. They account for 28% of
total approved investments in 2016, most of the investments went to the
services and manufacturing sectors.

Economic outlook

The Malaysian economy is expected to expand by 4.3% to 4.8% in 2017,

supported by a gradual improvement in global growth, recovery in global
commodity prices and the continued growth of domestic demand.

Domestic demand will continue to be the main driver of growth for the
Malaysian economy, and is expected to grow by 4.4% in 2017, underpinned
primarily by private sector activity. Private investment is expected to post
a modest growth of 4.1% in 2017. While firms are likely to remain cautious
due to uncertainty in the economic environment, private investment
activity will continue to be catalysed by continued expansion in domestic-
oriented industries and the government’s ETP projects. Among the ETP
initiatives is to drive business and investment opportunities in 12 key
sectors2 - referred to as the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) - together
with the private sector.

Private consumption is projected to grow by 6% in 2017. Stable labour

market conditions, continued wage growth, and the implementation of
Government measures to increase household disposable income such
as Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) cash transfers will help sustain
consumption spending despite rising inflationary pressure.

Inflation is expected to increase to an average of 3% to 4% in 2017, 2. The 12 key sectors/NKEAs are: Oil, gas
and energy; palm oil; financial services;
reflecting the pass through impact of the increase in global oil prices and tourism; business services; electronics and
depreciated ringgit on domestic retail fuel prices. electrical; wholesale and retail; education;
healthcare; communications content
and infrastructure; agriculture; and the
Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley.

PwC / 13
New Economic Model Based on these principles, a Economic Transformation
holistic approach is adopted to Programme (ETP)
The New Economic Model (NEM) is the foster competition in all sectors
government’s response to the need to “shift of the economy through the The ETP is a comprehensive
(the economy) to a higher level of value implementation of market- effort to transform Malaysia into
added and productivity” that is based on friendly policies and regulations a high income nation by 2020, by
innovation, creativity and high value add with the aim of creating boosting both investments and
activities, in order to lift the country into new sources of growth and private consumption. Through
the ranks of a high income nation by 2020. promoting higher value added collaborations between the public
sectors (e.g. private education, and private sector, the ETP
The NEM was unveiled by the Prime health tourism, Islamic finance, aims to create a vibrant and
Minister on 30 March 2010. Its formulation ICT, creative industries and competitive business environment
incorporates 3 basic principles, namely, biotechnology). for investments, focusing on two
high income, sustainability, and broad areas:
inclusiveness that undergirds the following • 12 NKEAs; and
key goals: • Six Strategic Reform Initiatives1
Principle Goal
The 12 NKEAs represent economic
High income USD 15,000 – 20,000 sectors that will drive the highest
per capita by 2020 possible growth and will receive
(compared to USD prioritized government support.
7,000 currently) As of 2014, there were 182 active
entry point projects, with RM219.3
Sustainability Meets present needs billion of investment committed as
without compromising of December 2016, meeting 27% of
future generations its RM794.5 billion (US$177 billion)
Inclusiveness All communities to fully target investments up to 2020.
benefit from the wealth
of the country
1. The six SRIs are: Competition, standards
and liberalization; public finance reform;
public service delivery; government’s
facilitative role in business; human capital
development; and narrowing disparities.


The six SRIs, complement the 12 The plan targets a growth rate of
NKEAs, aim to boost the country’s 5% to 6% a year for the Malaysian
competitiveness and investment economy, led by sustained domestic
climate in areas such as ease of doing demand, private investments and
business, talent development and infrastructure development. Under
improving public service delivery. the plan, Gross National Income
Malaysia is turning into a competitive (GNI) per capita is targeted to
place to do business, it ranked 23rd increase to US$15,690 by 2020.
overall in ease of doing business in In addition, average monthly
World Bank Doing Business 2017 household income is to increase to
report. It is also ranked the third RM10,540 in 2020. This will entail
best global services location in A.T the creation of 1.5 million jobs by
Kearney’s Global Services Location 2020 under the 11MP.
Index 2016.
As a platform for the country to
Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP) make vital policy shifts and invest
new approaches to address new
The 11MP, called “Anchoring and existing challenges, the 11MP
growth on people”, is the closing sets out:
chapter of the 2020 Vision Plan to • Six strategic thrusts to help
make Malaysia a fully developed Malaysia stay ahead of the
country by 2020. Spanning 2016 challenges and opportunities of
to 2020, the plan is meant to steer the changing global and political
development efforts to ensure that landscape2; and
the country becomes an advanced • Six game changers3 representing 2. The six strategic trusts are: enhancing
nation that is inclusive and innovative approaches to inclusiveness, improving wellbeing for all,
accelerating human capital development,
sustainable. accelerate the country’s pursuing sustainable growth, strengthening
development and growth. infrastructure and re-engineering economic
3. The six game changers are: unlocking
productivity, uplifting households to middle-
income, enabling technical and vocational
education and training, embarking on green
growth, translating innovation to wealth,
and investing in competitive cities.

PwC / 15
International trade

Trade policy is fundamentally in Negotiations for the Regional Free Trade Agreements
favour of free trade, with some Comprehensive Economic
protection for selected industries. Partnership (RCEP), of which Malaysia has concluded several
The government is seeking the Malaysia is party to, were officially regional and bilateral free trade
progressive removal of many of the launched at the 21st ASEAN agreements and several more are still
existing trade barriers. As a member Summit in November 2012, at the negotiation stage. One of the
of ASEAN, Malaysia has worked with negotiations expected to be key features of free trade agreements
towards greater trade liberalization substantially concluded by the end is the preferential tariff treatment
among the ASEAN member countries of 2017. The China-led RCEP is accorded to member countries. As to
in realising the ASEAN Free Trade anticipated to bolster trade between date Malaysia has signed the following
Area (AFTA) in the year 2003. its 16 member countries which free trade agreements:
collectively cover 30% of the world’s • ASEAN Trade In Goods Agreement
Another key trade initiative is the economy with a market of 3.4 billion • ASEAN-China Free Trade
ASEAN Economic Community people and a combined GDP of Agreement
(AEC). Established in 2015, it aims US$21.4 trillion in 2016. • ASEAN-Korea Free Trade
for regional economic and trade Agreement
integration, supporting free flow • ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free
of goods, services, investment and Trade Agreement
capital among the ASEAN member • ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive
countries. The AEC gives Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement
access to ASEAN’s US$2.6 trillion • ASEAN-India Trade in Goods
market, collectively the third largest Agreement
economy in Asia and seventh largest • Preferential Trade Agreement
in the world in 2014. Amongst D-8 Member States
• Malaysia-Pakistan Closer Economic
• Malaysia-Japan Economic
Partnering Agreement
• Malaysia-Chile Free Trade
• Malaysia-India Comprehensive
Economic Cooperation Agreement


• Malaysia-New Zealand Free Trade Imports and exports Export duty is generally imposed on
Agreement the country’s main commodities such
• Trade Preferential System Malaysia’s import and export policy as crude petroleum and palm oil.
Organisation of Islamic Conference is to encourage free trade, and Licences are required for the export
(TPS OIC) generally most imports and exports of primary products, such as palm oil
• Malaysia-Australia Free Trade do not require import / export and timber. These primary products
Agreement licences. However for economic, are also subject to export duties at
• Malaysia-Turkey Free Trade social and political reasons certain rates that vary with the price of the
Agreement goods may be prohibited from import product. The export from Malaysia of
or export. An import/export licence crude petroleum and liquefied natural
Free trade agreements under has to be obtained for the importation gas is controlled by Petroliam Nasional
negotiation are as follows: / exportation of prohibited goods. Berhad (Petronas), the government
• Malaysia-European Union Free owned national oil corporation.
Trade Agreement There is a tariff of varying rates
• European Free Trade Association covering most imports. Raw A resident is freely permitted to make
(EFTA) materials, machinery, essential payment in Ringgit for international
• Regional Comprehensive Economic foodstuffs and pharmaceutical trade in goods and services provided
Partnership (RCEP) products are generally non-dutiable payments are made or receipts are
• Hong Kong or subject to duties at lower rates. received through the non-resident’s
• Iran For machinery and equipment and external account. Prior permission
• Sri Lanka raw materials that are dutiable, of the Controller of Foreign Exchange
application for duty exemption may is required if such settlement is not
The preferential tariff treatment and be considered if they are not available through the non-resident’s external
the rules of origin may vary from one locally and are used directly in the account.
free trade agreement to another. manufacturing process.

PwC / 17
Foreign investment

Malaysia welcomes and actively as the capital market. One significant Fully foreign owned international
invites foreign investments. It offers step taken was the deregulation of credit rating agencies may also enter
a combination of incentives for the Foreign Investment Committee’s Malaysia from that date.
foreign investors, without restrictions investment guidelines from 30 June
on the repatriation of capital and 2009. Services sub-sectors
profits. There is a well developed 27 services sub-sectors were
infrastructure of support services Some of the liberalizations initiated by liberalized in 2009 with no equity
and facilities, and a labour force that the Malaysian government include: conditions imposed. These
is priced relatively lower than in sub-sectors were in the areas of ICT,
developed countries, young and Manufacturing sector education and training, healthcare,
capable of being trained to high levels Equity holdings in manufacturing welfare, logistics, tourism and business
of productivity. companies licensed by MITI are services.
allowed 100% foreign participation.
Malaysia has significant natural There was further liberalization (in
resources. Government policy Financial sector phases) in 2012 of 18 services
encourages development and The limit on foreign equity ownership Subsectors including
processing in the manufacturing of investment banks, Islamic banks, telecommunications, departmental
sector through a number of incentives insurance companies and takaful and specialty stores, private hospital
available for resource-based operators is up to 70%. Additionally, services, medical and dental specialist
manufacturing. Special incentives are 100% foreign ownership was allowed services, accounting and taxation,
also given to promote manufacturing for fund management companies and legal services, courier services;
related, regional operations and up to 70% foreign ownership for unit education and training services.
services-based industries, industries trust management companies and
that are technology-intensive and stockbrokers. In addition to relaxation for foreign
involve high technology. equity interest, the government has
100% foreign equity ownership is also relaxed the requirements for
In line with the government’s plan for allowed for unit trust management Bumiputra equity interest. With
the implementation of the NEM, the companies and new foreign unit the repeal of the Guidelines for the
Prime Minister has liberalized major trust management companies may Acquisition of Interest, Mergers
sectors of the economy through the also enter Malaysia. For credit rating and Takeovers by Local and Foreign
years, namely, the services sector, agencies, equity shareholdings will Interest with effect from 2009, the
the financial services sector as well be liberalized from 1 January 2017. Foreign Investment Committee (FIC)


no longer imposes the requirement of Repatriation of profits and Labour attitude towards
at least 30% Bumiputra equity in an investment guarantee foreign investment
acquired Malaysian company.
Profits are freely remittable. The Malaysian labour force welcomes
Notwithstanding the above, strategic Investment guarantee agreements foreign investment as a source of
sectors of national interest will (IGA) have been concluded with a employment. The industrial relations
continue to be safeguarded through number of countries. IGAs serve to: climate has traditionally been
sector regulators. Companies in sectors • Protect against nationalization and cordial and is likely to continue to
such as water, telecommunications, expropriation be so. The government encourages
ports and energy continue to be • Ensure prompt and adequate the employment structure to reflect
subject to equity conditions as imposed compensation in the event of the multi-racial composition of the
by their respective sector regulator. nationalization or expropriation Malaysian population.
• Provide free transfer of profits,
Such measures will encourage the capital and other fees Work permits can be obtained for skilled
entry of foreign players, including • Ensure settlement of investment foreign personnel, but it is expected that
those with intentions to set-up a disputes under the Convention the foreign investor will make a sincere
regional base in view of Malaysia’s on the Settlement of Investment effort to train Malaysians to fill these
strong international linkages Disputes of which Malaysia has positions over time.
(including Islamic finance). However, been a member since 1966
with a challenging global economic Taxation policy
environment, only strategic investors See Appendix A(1.1) for list of
with a long-term view of Malaysia countries with which Malaysia has The current corporate tax rate is 24%.
are expected to consider capitalizing signed IGAs.
on this platform of liberal market- Tax holidays (for companies granted
friendly policies. Malaysia is now “pioneer status”), investment tax
better placed alongside its regional allowance and a multiplicity of other
peers in attracting foreign investments forms of incentives are available for
and providing a business friendly qualifying projects. The various tax
environment for high technology, incentives can be complex, and some
creative and value add sectors. are mutually exclusive. Professional
advice should be sought in order to
maximize the benefits from these

PwC / 19
Tax incentives Examples of tax incentives available There are also enhanced PS and ITA
are as follows: incentives available for companies
In cognisance of the importance of undertaking projects in promoted
the role of private sector investment Pioneer status (PS) and investment products or activities where the
in ensuring sustainable growth in tax allowance (ITA) government intends to further
the medium and long term, the PS incentive is an exemption from expedite growth. Enhanced PS usually
government has instituted measures income tax on 70% of statutory takes the form of a full tax exemption
to enhance investment activity in income (adjusted income after whilst ITA is given on 100% of QCE.
Malaysia. One of the measures is deducting depreciation allowances) Currently, eligible projects range from
through tax incentives. Tax incentives for a period of five years. ITA is an projects of national and strategic
are generally applicable to investors allowance of 60% of qualifying importance, high technology, research
who establish tax resident companies capital expenditure (QCE) incurred & development, healthcare, education,
in Malaysia. The policy is to encourage on a building or plant and machinery to those undertaking green technology
foreign companies wishing to engage for a period of five years. ITA is an activities such as energy conservation
in continuing operations in Malaysia alternative incentive to PS. and generation of energy using
to incorporate local subsidiaries. Tax renewable resources.
incentives to promote investments in Companies in the manufacturing,
Malaysia are generally in the form of agricultural, hotel and tourism sectors Enhanced PS and ITA incentives
tax exemptions on profit, capital based or any other industrial or commercial are also given to MSC (Multimedia
incentives in the form of allowances or sector that participates in a promoted Super Corridor) status companies.
deductions based on the quantum of activity of producing a promoted MSC status is awarded to both local
capital expenditure incurred. product may be eligible for the and foreign companies that develop
PS or ITA incentive when qualifying or use multimedia technologies to
conditions are met. produce or enhance their products and
services and for process development.
MSC status companies are situated in
special zoned areas in Malaysia.


Islamic financial services sector operations through management, “Pre-packaged” incentives
There are also an array of incentives control and support of key functions. As part of the Government’s efforts
available in furtherance of the These include management of risks, to attract high quality investments,
government’s objective of developing decision making and strategic business specially “pre-packaged” incentives
Malaysia into a leading international activities such as trading, finance, are available to companies resident
Islamic Financial Centre. These range management and human resource. in Malaysia carrying on an “approved
from tax deduction given for issuance business”. An “approved business”
costs of various Islamic securities Income tax at tiered rates (0%, 5%, or is defined to mean any business
to tax exemptions granted for fees 10%) is given for a period of up to ten approved by the Minister of Finance
earned from management of funds in years, subject to conditions being met (“the Minister”) under the special
accordance to syariah principles. (for applications from 1 May 2015 to incentive scheme. Under this scheme,
30 April 2018). Other available non- a company is entitled to claim either:
Principal hub fiscal incentives available include: • Tax exemption of 70% (or any other
The Malaysian government has • No equity/ownership conditions. rate as prescribed by the Minister)
redefined the incentives available • Foreign exchange administration of the company’s statutory income;
for regional operations with the flexibilities and expatriate or
introduction of the customised positions. • Tax exemption of 70% (or any other
principal hub incentive. It replaces • Customs duty exemption for raw rate as prescribed by the Minister)
the existing incentive schemes for materials, components, or finished of statutory income granted based
International Procurement Centres, products brought into free zones, on a percentage (as determined by
Regional Distribution Centres and licensed and bonded warehouses the Minister) of qualifying capital
Operational Headquarters which was for production or repackaging, expenditure incurred.
officially terminated on 30 April 2015. cargo consolidation, and
integration before distribution to
A principal hub is a locally its final customers for goods-based
incorporated company which uses companies.
Malaysia as a base for conducting its
regional and global businesses and

PwC / 21
Development Regions There is also the Greater Kuala
As part of the Malaysian government’s plan for national economic advancement Lumpur (KL) region, a 2,793 sq km
through regional development and growth acceleration in various strategic area encompassing KL city and the
locations by promotion of domestic and foreign investments, the following surrounding metropolitan areas,
development regions were established: which has been earmarked as one
of the 12 NKEAs under the ETP.
Economic Region Location The overall aim for this NKEA is to
transform Greater KL into a world
1. Iskandar Malaysia Southern Johor class metropolis that will boast top
(www.iskandarmalaysia.com.my) standards in all areas, from business
2. Northern Corridor Economic Region States of Perlis, Kedah, infrastructure to liveability.
(http://www.koridorutara.com.my/) Penang and northern Perak
Basic to the strategy for promotion
3. East Coast Economic Region States of Kelantan, of investments in these development
(www.ecerdc.com.my) Terengganu, Pahang and regions is the provision of all
district of Mersing in Johor necessary infrastructure (financial
4. Sabah Development Corridor Western, central and eastern and non-financial) for the creation
(www.sedia.com.my/) regions of Sabah of a business-friendly environment,
including tax and other financial
5. Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy Central Sarawak
incentives. Apart from existing
incentives which are available for
promoted activities and products
provided under the Promotion of
Investments Act 1986 (PS, ITA, etc.)
and the Income Tax Act 1967, special
incentives which are customized for
the purpose of each development
region have been (or will be)
developed. To date, special legislation
has been enacted for Iskandar
Malaysia and the East Coast Economic


government agencies
See Appendix A(1.2) for a list of
government agencies (with brief
descriptions of the function of each

PwC / 23
Chapter 2
and the
Business formation: types of business entities
General regulatory environment
Raising capital
Securities market
Competition policy
Monopolies and antitrusts
Price control and anti-profiteering
Mergers and acquisitions
Court system
Intellectual property rights
Controls on foreign exchange

PwC / 25
Business formation: types of business entities

Types of entity to subscribe for shares or debentures of Two or more individuals or bodies
the company or to deposit money with corporate may form a LLP for any
The following are the forms of the company. Shareholders / members lawful business in accordance with
business organization available in of a private company shall not be the terms of the LLP Agreement.
Malaysia. more than fifty and are also restricted An LLP may also be formed for the
in their right to transfer their shares purposes of carrying on professional
Company in the company. A public company services of which the partners must be
Effective 31 January 2017, companies is employed where it is intended to natural persons of same professional
are governed by the new Companies invite the public to subscribe for shares practice and have in force, professional
Act 2016, which provides for three or debentures in the company or to indemnity insurance approved by the
types of companies: deposit money with the company. Registrar.
1. Company limited by shares;
2. Company limited by guarantee; or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) An LLP has perpetual succession and
3. Unlimited company. LLP is an alternative business any change in the partners will not
vehicle regulated under the Limited affect the existence, rights or liabilities
In practical terms, almost all Liability Partnerships Act 2012, of a LLP.
companies will be companies limited which combines the characteristics
by shares, i.e., companies with limited of a company and a conventional
liability, the maximum liability of a partnership. Partnership or sole proprietorship
member being limited to the value All sole proprietorships and
of share capital. Companies may be LLP is a separate legal entity from its partnerships (excluding LLPs)
formed as either private companies or partners. The liabilities of the partners are unincorporated and must be
public companies. of a LLP are limited while the LLP has registered with the Registrar of
unlimited capability in conducting Businesses also under the auspices of
A private company is one which is business and holding property. the Companies Commission Malaysia
prohibited by its articles of association (CCM). As unincorporated entities,
to issue any invitation to the public sole proprietorships and partnerships
have unlimited liability. In the case of
partnerships, partners are both jointly
and severally liable for the debts and
obligations of the partnerships.


Joint venture Representative/Regional office for the company/organisation’s
Joint ventures are structured either The representative regional affiliates, subsidiaries and agents in
as partnerships or as incorporated office does not undertake any Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific.
companies; the term “joint venture” commercial activities and only The regional office established
does not denote a separate and distinct represents its head office/principal is responsible for the designated
business entity. to undertake designated functions. activities of the company/
The representative/regional office’s organisation within the region it
Branch of foreign company operation is completely funded from operates.
A foreign company is a company sources outside Malaysia.
incorporated outside Malaysia. A Foreign enterprise entities
foreign company that desires to The representative office/
establish a place of business or to regional office is not required to be Most foreign investors incorporate
carry on business within Malaysia, incorporated under the Companies Act one or more companies in Malaysia
may establish a branch by filing 2016. The set-up of a representative/ through which all operations in
the required returns to CCM. The regional office requires the approval of Malaysia are carried out.
establishment of a branch is not the Malaysian Government. Foreign companies that come to
encouraged for a foreign company Malaysia solely to undertake a
engaged in wholesale or retail trade. • Representative office: An office of construction project or some similar
a foreign company/organisation form of infrastructure development
A foreign company or organization approved to collect relevant occasionally form unincorporated joint
that does not have the intention to information on investment ventures with a local company. The
undertake commercial activities opportunities in the country, choice of such structures is usually
in Malaysia and only represents its especially in the manufacturing necessitated by the tax environment
head office / principal to undertake and services sector, enhance in the home country of the foreign
designated functions may apply to the bilateral trade relations, promote company.
appropriate Government Authority for the export of Malaysian goods and
a Representative / Regional Office. services and carry out research and For a comparison of the relative
development (R&D). advantages of a corporation, branch
• Regional office: An office of a and sole proprietorship or partnership
foreign company/organisation that structure, see Appendix B(2.1).
serves as the coordination centre

PwC / 27
General regulatory environment

Various government agencies are • Adoption of international In recent years, the government
responsible for implementation and standards and best practices to has also adopted a policy of
enforcement of regulations governing improve the quality of Malaysian allowing greater flexibility on
various aspects of doing business goods and services as well as foreign equity participation in local
in Malaysia, such as registration access to international markets; companies. Recent measures taken
of businesses, issue of licences, and in this direction are summarized
enforcement of health and safety • Liberalization of the services in Chapter 1 (refer to section on
requirements, as well as ensuring sector which opens markets “Foreign Investments”.)
compliance with various government to foreign investment while
policies (for example, policies encouraging competition. The main regulatory agencies are
relating to employment of workers or listed in Appendix B(2.2).
to equity structures of companies). The Government also introduced
the new Companies Act 2016. This
In a move to become a developed and replaces the 1965 Act, which had
high income nation, the government been in place for over 50 years.
has introduced six Strategic Reform The new Act will facilitate and
Initiatives1 (SRIs) in 2011 to provide modernise the legal framework on
the enablers for Malaysia to be how companies are incorporated,
competitive. One of the six SRIs organised and managed in Malaysia.
includes reforms in competition, It will be implemented in stages,
standards and liberalization. It beginning from 31 January 2017.
includes three main components,
they are:
• The implementation of the
Competition Act 2010, which
aims to boost economic growth
by promoting and protecting the
process of competition;
1. The six SRIs are: Competition, standards
and liberalization; public finance reform;
public service delivery; government’s
facilitative role in business; human capital
development; and narrowing disparities.


Raising Capital

Securities Commission (SC) The Malaysian capital market Wherever possible, SC is also
The SC is the single regulator for moved from a merit-based (MBR) to simplifying and streamlining
all fund raising activities and is a disclosure-based regulatory (DBR) regulation to foster an innovative
established by law to regulate and framework for fund raising in 2003. and vibrant capital market
oversee the orderly development of Under DBR, the onus of assessing environment.
the securities and futures contracts the merit of any securities rests with
markets. SC’s many regulatory the investors whose money is being The SC together with the national
functions include: put at risk. The investors assess stock exchange, Bursa Malaysia,
• Supervising exchanges, clearing and determine the investment continues to undertake regulatory
houses and central depositories; merits of the offering while the reforms to enhance market efficiency,
• Registering authority for SC regulates the disclosure of encourage innovation to broaden
prospectuses of corporations other material information. Essentially, the market while emphasising good
than unlisted recreational clubs; in moving from MBR to DBR, the governance and conduct. Amongst
• Approving authority for corporate capital market progresses to an its recent initiatives include:
bond issues; environment largely governed by • Introduction of the Peer-to-
• Regulating all matters relating to self-regulation, high standards of Peer (P2P) Lending and Equity
securities and futures contracts; disclosure and due diligence as well Crowdfunding Framework
• Regulating the take-over and as corporate governance practices. • Launch of new Corporate
mergers of companies; Governance (CG) Code
• Regulating all matters relating to In striking a regulatory balance • Development of a new private
unit trust schemes; between under and over-regulation, market, a platform specially
• Licensing and supervising all SC’s regulatory framework will designed for SMEs to access to
licensed persons; increasingly feature a more capital on the local bourse
• Encouraging self-regulation; and outcomes-based design, favouring
• Ensuring proper conduct of market broad-based standards over
institutions and licensed persons. prescriptive, detailed rules.

PwC / 29
Securities market

Bursa Malaysia greater certainty, shorter time-to- All other equity-based corporate
Public trading/exchange of shares in market and lower regulatory costs. proposals such as acquisitions (other
Malaysia is conducted through Bursa Under the framework, the SC’s review than reverse take-overs and back-
Malaysia Securities Berhad (BMSB), of corporate proposals will focus on door listings), disposals, placements
the stock exchange unit of Bursa the following: of securities, rights offerings and
Malaysia Berhad (Bursa Malaysia). • Compliance with minimum issuance of warrants, would no longer
Bursa Malaysia was previously known requirements; require the SC’s approval. The SC
as the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange • Standards of corporate governance; would continue to vet and register
Berhad (KLSE), pursuant to its • Resolution of conflicts of interest; prospectuses to ensure adequate and
demutualization in January 2004. • Preservation of public interest; and meaningful disclosures to investors.
From 3 August 2009, listing of shares • Adequacy of disclosures to enable Bursa Malaysia will take on a more
is done through Bursa Malaysia’s investors to make informed active role as the frontline regulator
two Markets – the Main Market for investment decisions. for secondary equity fund raisings.” 2
established corporations, and the ACE
Market which is an alternative market SC’s approval (under relevant
Bursa Malaysia
open to companies of all sizes and legislative provision) would only be
Derivatives Berhad
from all economic sectors. required for the following substantive
Exchange of financial and
corporate proposals in the Main
commodities futures in Malaysia is
The exchange also acts as the front Market:
conducted through Bursa Malaysia
line regulator for the Malaysian stock • Initial Public Offerings;
Derivatives Bhd, a futures and options
market and is in turn supervised by • Acquisitions resulting in a
exchange covering financial, equity
the SC. significant change in business
and commodity-related instruments.
direction or policy of a listed
Under the fund-raising framework corporation (reverse take-overs and
launched by the SC and Bursa back-door listings);
Malaysia on 8 May 2009, “rules and • Secondary listings and cross
processes for equity”, fund-raising has listings; and
been streamlined in order to provide • Transfer of listings from the ACE
Market to the Main Market.

2. Quoted from Bursa Malaysia’s Media

Release on 8 May 2009.


Competition policy Monopolies and
In general, the government is not of dominant position in any There is no specific anti-monopoly
against competition. Given the active market for goods or services. If an or anti-trust legislation in Malaysia.
participation of the government in agreement is entered into which Monopolies per se are not deemed
business and the need to nurture could be deemed to be preventing, to be against the public interest and
infant Malaysian industries, protection distorting or restricting competition, are found in various sectors of the
from competition is provided to liability will be imposed upon economy.
specific industries through licensing the enterprise involved. Certain
and fiscal measures. activities are excluded from the CA
(e.g. agreements made to comply
In 2010, the Competition Act 2010 with legislative requirements, or
(CA) and the Competition Commission collective bargaining activities).
Act 2010 (CCA) were passed by the The Malaysian Competition
Malaysian parliament and have come Commission, an independent
into force on 1 January 2012 and body established under the CCA
1 January 2011 respectively. The is tasked with enforcing the CA.
purpose of the CA is to promote and The commission is responsible for
protect the process of competition investigating complaints on anti-
and interest of consumers with the competition behaviours, carrying
ultimate objective of promoting out market reviews and imposing
economic development. The CCA penalties on offenders.
governs the establishment of a
Competition Commission and its
powers and functions. Under the
CA, enterprises are prohibited from
participating in specified trade
practices, namely, the making of
horizontal or vertical agreements, and
engaging (individually or collectively)
in conduct which amounts to abuse

PwC / 31
Price control and anti-profiteering

The Price Control and Anti- The method of determining high

Profiteering Act 2011 (PCAPA) was profit is done using either the mark-up
enacted to curb profiteering by percentage or the margin percentage
penalizing businesses that make of the goods sold or offered using the
“unreasonably high profits” as a prescribed formulas.
result of the implementation of
goods and services tax (GST). The
act came into force when GST was
implemented on 1 April 2015.

Subsequent to the implementation

of GST, a new Price Control and
Anti-Profiteering (Mechanism to
Determine Unreasonably High Profit
for Goods) Regulations 2016 (PCAP
2016) was introduced to replace all
earlier regulations, with effective
from 1 January 2017.

PCAP 2016 applies only to food and

beverages, and household goods. It
also implements a formula-based
approach to determine unreasonably
high profits. This measure was taken
to curb exorbitant price hikes in
household items by unscrupulous


Mergers and acquisitions

The regulatory framework for take Some of the key changes under the listing on a foreign stock exchange
overs and mergers in Malaysia was Rules and New Code are as follows: and a secondary listing in Malaysia,
revised on 15 August 2016 with the • Removal of the requirement of a the Rules provide that the SC may
revocation of the Malaysian Code on minimum 50% shareholding for consider disapplying the Rules,
Take-Overs and Mergers 2010 (Old parties intending to initiate a take- provided that the applicant is able
Code). In its place, the Minister of over scheme (e.g. arrangement, to demonstrate that the relevant
Finance prescribed the Malaysian compromise, amalgamations foreign take-over regulation accords
Code on Take-Overs and Mergers 2016 and selective capital reductions). an equivalent level of protection to
(New Code), a legislative supplement Previously, any person intending to offeree shareholders as provided
issued under the Malaysian Capital initiate a takeover scheme must hold under the Rules.
Markets and Services Act. The Rules on at least 50% of the voting share or • In mandatory take-overs arising
Take-Overs, Mergers and Compulsory right in the target company in order from an arrangement, agreement
Acquisition 2016 (Rules) was also to do so. or understanding to control
issued contemporaneously by the SC. • In the case of unlisted public between offeror and persons acting
companies, the take-over framework in concert (PACs), the offer price
The New Code consists of 12 will only apply to sizeable unlisted shall be the higher of the highest
overarching general principles which public companies having more than purchase price paid by the offeror
must be observed and complied with 50 shareholders and net assets of and PACs, or the volume weighted
by all persons engaged in any take- RM15 million or more. Business average traded price (VWAP) of
over or merger transaction. The Rules trusts listed in Malaysia are also the offeree for the last 20 market
are the equivalent of the superseded subject to the framework. days prior to the triggering of the
practice notes that set out the • In respect of an offeree with primary mandatory take-over offer. The SC
operative provisions for take-overs. listing on both a stock exchange in has the discretion to disregard any
Malaysia and outside of Malaysia, unusually high or low traded prices
The SC stated that the New Code and which as a result may be subject within the relevant period for the
and Rules are intended to “facilitate to dual jurisdiction of the SC and VWAP.
market activities in a fast changing the foreign take-over regulator, early
environment, whilst ensuring consultation with the SC is required For more information on the Rules and
appropriate shareholder protection” so that guidance may be given on to view the details of the 12 general
and to ensure that the take-over how to resolve any conflicts between principles outlined in the New Code,
framework “will be facilitative to the relevant regulatory frameworks. visit www.sc.com.my/legislation-
commercial realities while providing Where the offeree has a primary guidelines/take-overs-code/
protection to shareholders where

PwC / 33
Court system

General Courts, and jurisdiction to hear its original jurisdiction (i.e. where the
The Malaysian legal system is appeals from the Subordinate Court case has not been appealed from the
substantially based on the British in civil and criminal matters. They Subordinate Courts).
legal system and the principles of have unlimited civil jurisdiction,
common law. At the lowest level in the however they generally confine Besides the ordinary courts of law,
hierarchy of courts in Malaysia is the themselves to matters on which the there are also scores of specialized
Magistrates Court, the next being the Magistrates and Sessions Courts have statutory tribunals, for example the
Sessions Court, then the High no jurisdictions, i.e. civil actions Industrial Court, Labour Court and
Court, then the Court of Appeal. At the where the claim exceeds RM1,000,000 the Tribunal for Consumer Claims.
apex is the Federal Court. There are (other than actions involving motor These quasi-judicial bodies serve to
generally two types of trials, civil and vehicle accidents, landlord and tenant provide an alternative, inexpensive
criminal. disputes and distress) and criminal and expedited means to settle
cases where the offences carry the disputes between parties within their
The Magistrates Court and Sessions death penalty. specialised jurisdictions.
Court have jurisdiction in both civil
and criminal matters. The former The Court of Appeal generally hears Syariah Courts
hears all civil matters where the claim all civil appeals against decisions of There is a parallel system of state
does not exceed RM100,000. The the High Courts except where it is Syariah Courts which has limited
latter has jurisdiction to try all civil against judgment or orders made jurisdiction over matters of state
actions or suits where the claim does by consent. It also hears appeals of Islamic law. The Syariah Courts
not exceed RM1,000,000, except criminal decisions of the High Court. have jurisdiction only over matters
in matters relating to motor vehicle It is the court of final jurisdiction for involving Muslims.
accidents, landlord and tenant and cases which began in any subordinate
distress, where the Sessions Courts courts. Income tax appeals
have unlimited jurisdiction. Income tax appeals are first heard
The highest court in Malaysia is the by Special Commissioners of Income
There are two High Courts, the Federal Court. The Federal Court Tax who have all the powers of a
High Court in Malaya and the High may hear appeals of civil decisions subordinate court. Appeals against the
Court in Sabah and Sarawak. The of the Court of Appeal where the decision of the Special Commissioners
two High Courts in Malaysia have Federal Court grants leave to do so. It of Income Tax are made to the High
general supervisory and revisionary also hears criminal appeals from the Court, and then to the Court of Appeal,
jurisdiction over all the Subordinate Court of Appeal, but only in respect of which is the final court for appeal for
matters heard by the High Court in such cases.


Intellectual property rights

Intellectual Property Corporation Malaysia is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
of Malaysia a signatory to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property
The administration of Intellectual Rights (TRIPS) signed under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO),
Property Rights (IPR) is undertaken and a signatory to the Paris Convention and Berne Convention which govern
by the Intellectual Property intellectual property rights. Malaysia has also acceded to the Patents Cooperation
Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) Treaty (PCT) in the year 2006 and effective from 16 August 2006, the PCT
which is a corporate body established International Application can be made at MyIPO.
under the Intellectual Property
Corporation of Malaysia Act Malaysia’s intellectual property laws are in conformity with international standards
2002. MyIPO is an agency under and provide protection to local and foreign investors. The various legislations are
the Ministry of Domestic Trade, listed below:
Cooperative and Consumerism. Its
functions include the following: Legislation Protection for
• Establishment of a strong and Patents Act 1983 Patents
effective administration of Patents Regulations 1986
intellectual property;
Trade Marks Act 1976 Trade marks
• Strengthening of intellectual
Trade Marks Regulations 1997
property laws;
Trade Descriptions Act 2011
• Providing comprehensive and
user-friendly information on Industrial Designs Act 1996 Industrial designs
intellectual property; Industrial Designs Regulations 1999
• Promoting public awareness Copyright (Amended) Act 2012 Copyrights
programmes on the importance of Various regulations
intellectual property; and Geographical Indications Act (Upon registration) protection of
• Providing advisory on intellectual 2000 Geographical Indications goods following the name of the
property. Regulations 2001 place where the goods are
produced, where a given quality,
reputation or other characteristic of
the goods is essentially attributable
to their geographical origin.
Layout Designs and Integrated Layout designs of integrated
Circuit Act 2000 circuits

PwC / 35
Controls on foreign exchange

Malaysia has a system of exchange • To pay in foreign currency to a Borrowings in foreign currency by a
control measures aimed at monitoring non-resident for any purpose resident
the settlement of foreign currency (other than derivatives), including A resident company is free to:
payments and receipts as well as settlement of import of goods and • borrow any amount in foreign
encouraging the use of the country’s services. currency from its resident and non-
financial resources for productive resident entities within its group
purposes in Malaysia. The Financial Investments abroad by a resident of entities or direct shareholder or
Services Act 2013 is the main Investment assets in foreign currency licensed onshore banks. However,
legislation governing dealings and assets are subject to the following: where a non-resident special
transactions in foreign currency whilst • A resident without domestic Ringgit purpose vehicle is set up solely
the Exchange Control Notices issued credit facilities is free to invest any to obtain borrowings from any
by the Central Bank of Malaysia, amount abroad. person which is not part of the
i.e. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) • A resident entity with domestic resident entity’s group of entities,
embody the general permissions and Ringgit borrowing is able to the borrowings are subject to the
directions of the Controller of Foreign invest any amount abroad from prevailing aggregate limit of RM100
Exchange (the Controller). conversion of Ringgit up to RM50 million equivalent from non-
million per annum (based on residents.
Some of the controls put into place aggregate borrowing of entities • procure from non-resident
include: within its group of entities or direct suppliers, any amount of foreign
shareholder). However for resident currency supplier’s credit for capital
Remittances abroad by a resident companies that meet prudential goods.
A resident is freely permitted: requirements, direct investment
• To pay in Ringgit (to be converted abroad is permitted without limit. Borrowings in Ringgit by non-
when remitting abroad) to a non- Written permission is required residents
resident for settlement of domestic from BNM to undertake these Non-residents are permitted to borrow
or international trade in goods investments. any amount of Ringgit credit facilities
and services provided payments • An individual with domestic credit from residents to finance activities in
are made or receipts are received facilities is able to invest any the real sector of Malaysia. Real sector
through the non-resident’s external amount abroad from conversion is the sector where there is production
account. of Ringgit up to RM1 million per of goods and services which includes


all industries except for financial • Non-resident accounts (external
services. Non-residents are allowed accounts)
to finance or purchase any residential Non-residents may maintain any
or commercial property in Malaysia number of external accounts with any
(excluding financing for purchase of financial institution in Malaysia and
land only). there is no restriction on the amount
of Ringgit funds to be retained in the
Types of accounts external accounts.
• Foreign currency accounts
In general, a resident is allowed
to open foreign currency accounts
with licensed onshore banks, or
non-resident financial institutions
for any purpose. For resident
exporters, export proceeds must
be credited into foreign currency
accounts maintained with licensed
onshore banks only and where the
proceeds is from export of goods,
only up to 25% of the proceeds
can be retained in foreign currency
with the balance converted into
Ringgit. There is no restriction
on the maintenance of a foreign
currency account by a non-resident

PwC / 37
Chapter 3
and social
Employment regulations
Working conditions, wages/salaries and
statutory contributions
Foreign personnel

PwC / 39
Employment regulations

Employment Act 1955 The Industrial Relations Act 1967

The provisions of the Employment The Industrial Relations Act 1967 The Department of Industrial
Act 1955 (Employment Act) cover (the Act) and the Industrial Relations Relations Malaysia continues to play
any person who works under a Regulations 1980, form the legal an important role in maintaining
contract of service with an employer framework within which the industrial a harmonious environment in the
and who does not earn more than relations system in Malaysia operates. labour market, by helping to avert
RM2,000 (wef 1 April 2012, previously The objective of the Act, as stated in industrial action through active
RM1,500) a month on wages, or its preamble, is “to provide for the intervention, consultations as well as
specific categories of employees. regulation of the relations between negotiations between parties. In the
Employees earning more than employers and workmen and their event of a dispute, the Act provides
RM2,000 but not exceeding RM5,000 trade unions, and the prevention for free negotiation between trade
may use the enforcement provisions and settlement of any differences unions and employers on a voluntary
of the Employment Act to enforce or disputes arising from their basis. Disputes may be reported to
monetary claims under their contracts. relationship and generally to deal with the Ministry of Human Resources
This is applicable to West Malaysia trade disputes and matters arising for conciliation and referred to the
only. The Sabah and Sarawak Labour therefrom”. The Act aims to provide Industrial Court for settlement.
Ordinances (the ordinances) cover safeguards for legitimate rights, Awards made by the Industrial Court
certain types of employees who have prerogatives and interest of employees are final and legally binding. The
entered into or work under a contract and employers and their trade unions, Act prohibits strikes or lockouts after
of service with their employers. The and to ensure that trade disputes are a dispute has been referred to the
ordinances include foreign workers of settled speedily and in a just manner, Industrial Court.
these specified occupations. Where so as not to prejudice public and
the persons are not covered by the national interests.
Employment Act and the ordinances,
common law relating to employment
will apply to them.



The Employment (Part-Time Others Omnibus or general workers’ unions

Employees) Regulations 2010 are not permitted, but unions
(EPTER) The following legislative enactments/ belonging to the same industry may
code are relevant in providing for the apply to form a federation of trade
The EPTER came into effect on 1 health, safety and general well-being unions or become affiliated with the
October 2010 and provides protection of employees: Malaysian Trade Unions Congress or
for part-time employees (PTE) who • Factories and Machinery Act 1967 the Malaysian Labour Organization.
are hitherto, not protected under any - law relating to the safety of
labour law. Some of the protection employees in the use of machinery; All trade unions are required by law
and benefits provided under the • Occupational Safety and Health Act to be registered with the Registrar of
EPTER include payments for hours 1994 - imposes general duties upon Trade Unions and must comply with
worked beyond normal hours, paid employers, self-employed persons the requirements of the Trade Unions
holidays, paid annual leave, sick and employees to secure workplace Act 1959. This Act sets out rules for
leave and weekly rest days for PTE health and safety; the conduct of union business, such as
who fall within the regulations. This • Code of Practice on the Prevention the election of officers, strike ballots
regulation will require employers to and Eradication of Sexual and the use of union funds.
make contributions to the national Harassment in the Workplace -
Employees Provident Fund (EPF) provides guidelines for employers
and Social Security Organization on the establishment of in-house
(SOCSO) for most part-time mechanism at the enterprise level
workers who are eligible for such to prevent and eradicate sexual
contributions. harassment in the workplace. With
effect from 1 April 2012, new Part
XVA has been inserted into the
Employment Act 1955 which deals
with matters pertaining to sexual

PwC / 41
Working conditions, wages/salaries and statutory contributions

The Malaysian Investment Development who are not Malaysian citizens or permanent residents are not required to
Authority (MIDA) publishes on its contribute to EPF although they may elect to do so. The rates of contributions
website at www.mida.gov.my a guide are as follows:
on the Cost of Doing Business in
Malaysia which provides information on The statutory rates of contributions are as follows:
regulatory requirements relating to the Malaysian citizens and Expatriates and foreign
following: permanent residents workers2
• Paid leave (annual leave; maternity (mandatory)
leave; sick leave; ) See Appendix % of contribution of employee’s wages (minimum)
C(3.1) Contribution by Employer Employee Employer Employee
• Paid holiday;
Till age 60 13% 8% 1
RM5 per 8%1
• Normal working hours; (Income ≤ RM5,000)3 person
• Payment for overtime work;
• Salaries (maximum and minimum) Till age 60 12% 8%1 RM5 per 8%1
for executives and non-executives in (Income > RM5,000) person
the manufacturing sector. Age 60 till 75 6% 4%1 RM5 per 4%1
• Statutory contributions in respect of person
employees to the following funds: Age 60 till 75 6.5% 4%1 RM5 per 4%1
(Income ≤ RM5,000)3 person
Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF)
The Employees Provident Fund
1. From 1st March 2016 to December 2017 the EPF contribution for employee portion is 8%
Act 1991 requires employers
/ 4% with option to contribute at 11% / 5.5%. The EPF rate will revert back to 11% / 5.5%
and employees to make monthly effective January 2018.
contributions to the EPF to secure 2. Not required to contribute to EPF, but can elect to contribute.
lump sum payments to employees 3. If the employer pays bonus to an employee who receives monthly wages of RM5,000.00
at the age of 60 or earlier in and below and upon receiving the said bonus renders the wages received for that month to
the case of incapacity or upon exceed RM5,000.00, the calculation of the employer contribution rate shall be calculated at
the rate of 13% / 6.5%, and the total contribution which includes cents shall be rounded to
permanent departure from Malaysia.
the next Ringgit.
Contributions are mandatory for
employees who are Malaysian
citizens or permanent residents.
Expatriates and foreign workers,


Social Security Organization Human Resources List of Industry covered under HRDF
(SOCSO) Development Fund (HRDF) 1. Manufacturing Sector
The Social Security Organization HRDF provides financial assistance • Electrical and Electronic
is an insurance scheme that cover for training by contributing employers • Metal Product
Employment Injury and Invalidity under certain designated training • Mineral Product
Pension Scheme. All employees are schemes. • Food and Beverages
covered by the Employment Injury • Transport Equipment
The employer that fall under the
Insurance Scheme (EIIS) and the • Plastic
industries listed by HRDF are required
Invalidity Pension Schemes (IPS), • Wood & Wood based and Cork
to register with the HRDF and
which are administered by the Social • Machinery
contribute in respect of employees who
Security Organization (SOCSO). • Industrial Chemicals
are Malaysian citizens.
Employees falling within the schemes • Paper and Pulp
will continue to remain within the Currently there are 63 sub • Iron and Steel
schemes. A monthly contribution sectors covered by HRDF under • Rubber Product
must be made for each eligible Manufacturing, Services Mining and • Furniture and Fixtures
employee. There are two categories of Quarrying. • Printing and Publishing
contributions: • Textile and Apparel
HRDF has standardized the minimum
• The first category of contribution • Petroleum and Coal
number of local employees to register
(to both EIIS and IPS) is by both • Optical and Photography
with HRDF to 10 for all employers
the employer and employee. The • Glass and Glass Product
under the existing coverage of 63 sub
amount is based on the employee’s • Petroleum Refinery
sectors. The contribution rate will be
monthly wages, restricted to • Footwear
at 1%.
a maximum of RM69.05 and • Ceramic
RM19.75 for employer and HRDF will allow voluntary registration • Tobacco
employee respectively. to all employers under the existing 63 • Leather
• The second category of contribution subsectors that employ 5 to nine local
(EIIS only) is solely by the employee to contribute HRDF at 0.5% 2. Mining & Quarrying Sector
employer for an employee who is of their monthly wages. • Petroleum and gas extraction
not eligible for coverage under the • Mineral and stone quarrying
IPS, restricted to a maximum of
RM49.40 .

PwC / 43
3. Service Sector • Food and beverage services
• Energy • Production of motion picture,
• Hypermarket/Supermarket/ video and television programme,
Departmental Store sound recording and music
• Direct Selling publishing
• Commercial Land Transport and • Information service
Railway Transport Services • Tourism enterprise
• Warehousing Services • Building and landscape services
• Port Services • Event management services
• Hotel Industry • Early childhood education
• Freight Forwarding • Health support services
• Shipping • Franchise
• Air Transport • Sale and repair of motor vehicles
• Tour Operating Business (In- • Private broadcasting services
bound only) • Driving school
• Postal or Courier • Veterinary services
• Telecommunication
• Research & Development
• Engineering Support &
Maintenance Services
• Security Services
• Computer Services
• Advertising
• Private Hospital Services
• Higher Education
• Training
• Gas, steam and air-conditioning
• Water treatment and supply
• Sewerage
• Waste management and material
recovery services


Foreign personnel

Approval for expatriate posts Other approving agencies for The following minimum paid-up share
expatriate posts are: capital requirements must be fulfilled
Approvals for expatriate posts are • Multimedia Development before an application for an expatriate
given by different authorized bodies Corporation (MDec) – for position can be processed by the
or agencies depending on the type of expatriate posts and skilled workers expatriate committee:
core business of the company. The in IT based companies with MSC
Malaysian Investment Development status. 100% Malaysian owned company:
Authority (MIDA) approves expatriate • Public Service Department (PSD) – RM250,000
posts in the following fields: doctors and nurses in government
• Manufacturing hospitals and clinics; lecturers and Malaysian and foreign owned
• Manufacturing related services tutors in government institutions of company:
– Regional Office; Operational higher learning; contract posts in RM350,000
Headquarters; Overseas Mission; public services and jobs offered by
International Procurement Centre, the Public Service Commission or 100% foreign owned company:
etc. related government agencies. RM500,000
• Hotel and tourism industry • Central Bank of Malaysia - posts
• Research and Development in banking, finance and insurance Company undertaking distributive
sectors. trade and foreign owned restaurant:
• Securities Commission – RM1,000,000
employment in security and share
• Department of Immigration Restrictions on employment
Malaysia (the expatriate of foreign personnel
committee) – employment in
sectors other than the above. The government permits a company
investing in Malaysia to bring
in technical expertise or other
executive personnel necessary for the
functioning of the company. However,
it is the government’s policy that
jobs should be filled by Malaysians
eventually. The Malaysian government
is desirous that Malaysians are
eventually trained and employed at all
levels of employment.

PwC / 45
Chapter 4
Statutory requirements for Malaysian
incorporated companies
Statutory requirements for foreign companies
carrying on business within Malaysia
Financial Reporting Framework in Malaysia
Auditing requirements

PwC / 47
Statutory requirements for Malaysian-incorporated companies

Accounting and other records Accounting and other records are to The financial statements or where
be retained for seven years after the applicable consolidated financial
Every company incorporated under completion of the transactions or statements for a financial year shall
the Companies Act 2016 is required operations to which they relate. give a true and fair view of the
to keep accounting and other records financial position as at the end of
so as to sufficiently explain the System of Internal Control the financial year and the financial
transactions and financial position of performance for the financial year of
the company and enable preparation The directors of a public company the company or where applicable of
of financial statements showing true or a subsidiary of a public company the company and all its subsidiaries
and fair view to be conveniently and shall have in place a system of internal which are dealt with in the
properly audited. All transactions control that will provide reasonable consolidated financial statements as a
must be recorded within 60 days of assurance that the assets of the whole.
completion. These accounting and company are safeguarded against loss
other records are the responsibility of from unauthorised use or disposition, The financial statements shall contain,
the company’s directors. to give a proper account of assets in the notes to the statements, the
and all transactions are properly information as the Registrar may
These accounting and other records authorised and that the transactions determine and may include but not
must be kept at the company’s are recorded as necessary to enable the limited to the directors’ remuneration,
registered office (which must be preparation of true and fair view of the the directors’ retirement benefits,
in Malaysia) or such other place as financial statements of the company. compensation to directors for loss
the directors think fit. Accounting and of office, loans, quasi-loans and
other records relating to operations Financial statements other dealings in favour of directors,
outside Malaysia may be kept at a auditors’ remuneration for their
place outside Malaysia, provided such The directors must present a set of service as auditors given by or from
accounting and other records are sent financial statements in accordance the company or from any subsidiary of
to and kept at a place in Malaysia. The with the approved accounting the company.
accounting and other records must be standards issued or adopted by
made available for inspection by the Malaysian Accounting Standards
directors at all times. Board (MASB) and the requirements
of the Companies Act.


Directors’ report For a private company, the financial financial statements is or are drawn
statements and directors’ report must up, in accordance with the applicable
The matters required to be covered be circulated within 6 months of the accounting standards, to give a true
in the directors’ report are set out in company’s financial year end and must and fair view of the financial position
Section 253 and Fifth Schedule of be lodged with the Registrar within and financial performance of the
the Companies Act 2016. A directors’ 30 days from the date the financial company and of the group.
report must be attached to every statements and the directors’ reports
financial statements. are circulated to its members. Statutory declaration by the director
or person responsible for financial
A directors’ report may include a For a public company, the financial management
business review. statements and directors’ report must
be circulated at least 21 days before In addition, a statutory declaration by
Duty of Circulation and Lodgement the annual general meeting and must a director or where the director is not
of Financial Statements and be lodged with the Registrar within 30 primarily responsible for the financial
Directors’ reports days from its annual general meeting. management of the company, by the
person responsible for the financial
The directors of every company must All amounts shown in the financial management of the company, setting
prepare financial statements within 18 statements and directors’ reports forth that director’s or person’s
months from the date of incorporation lodged with the Companies opinion as to the correctness of the
and, subsequently within 6 months Commission of Malaysia (CCM) shall financial statements and attested by
of the company’s financial year end. be presented in Malaysian currency. the Commissioner for Oaths, must
Every company must circulate a also be attached to the financial
copy of its financial statements and Statement by directors on the statements.
directors’ report for each financial year financial statements
to shareholders, auditors, debenture
holders and every person who is A statement signed by at least two
entitled to receive notice of general directors and in the case of a sole
meetings. director, by that director in accordance
with the resolution of the Board of
director(s) stating whether in their or
his opinion the financial statements
or where applicable the consolidated

PwC / 49
Statutory requirements for foreign companies
carrying on business within Malaysia
Auditors’ report Public listed companies are also conveniently and properly audited. All
required to provide quarterly transactions must be recorded within
The financial statements should be report on the statement of profit 60 days of completion.
duly audited by an approved auditor. and loss and other comprehensive
income, statement of financial Filing requirements
The auditors’ report shall state position, statement of cash flows
whether the financial statements have and explanatory notes to their A foreign company with operations in
been properly drawn up in accordance shareholders within 2 months after Malaysia is required to lodge with the
with the applicable approved the end of each quarter. Guidelines for CCM within two months of its annual
standards and the Companies Act 2016 disseminating material information general meeting a copy of its financial
so as to give a true and fair view of the on public listed companies are set out statements and other documents
group’s and the company’s affairs. in the Listing Requirements of Bursa required to be attached to its financial
Malaysia Securities Berhad. statements by the law applicable to the
Additional disclosure requirements company in its place of incorporation
for public listed companies Accounting and other records or origin. Where the foreign company
is not required to hold an annual
Public listed companies are also A foreign company desiring to general meeting and prepare a
required to comply with the establish a place of business or to financial statements by the law of the
disclosures required by the Listing carry on business within Malaysia is place of its incorporation, the company
Requirements of Bursa Malaysia required by the Companies Act 2016 to is required to prepare a financial
Securities Berhad in their annual register itself with the CCM. statements containing such particulars
reports. The timeline for filing annual as if it were a public company
reports with the exchange is within 4 The Companies Act 2016 requires incorporated in Malaysia.
months from close of financial year. the accounting and other records
of a foreign company’s operations In addition, a foreign company is
in Malaysia to be kept in Malaysia required to lodge with the CCM a duly
that will sufficiently explain the audited financial statements and other
transactions and financial position documents required to be attached
of the foreign company arising out of with the financial statements and
its operations in Malaysia and shall a duly audited statement showing
cause these records to be kept in such its assets used in Malaysia and its
a manner as to enable them to be liabilities arising out of its operations


in Malaysia as at the date to which its
financial statements was made up,
so far as is practicable, complies with
the applicable approved accounting
standards and which gives a true and
fair view of the foreign company’s
operations in Malaysia.

Financial statements

The requirement of financial

statements is similar to those
companies incorporated in Malaysia.
In addition, foreign companies that
are listed in Malaysia can apply the
acceptable internationally recognised
accounting standards or MASB
approved accounting standards.

Foreign companies that are listed in

Malaysia are required to comply with
the disclosures required by the Listing
Requirements of Bursa Malaysia
Securities Berhad in their annual
reports, timeline for filing annual
reports and quarterly reports similar
to a Malaysian-incorporated company
listed in Malaysia.

PwC / 51
Financial Reporting Framework in Malaysia

The MASB has been established as the TEs shall comply with the MFRS by, an entity that is a management
sole authority for issuing accounting Framework for annual periods company as defined in section 2 of
standards and other financial reporting beginning on or after 1 January the Interest Schemes Act 2016 is not a
pronouncements in Malaysia. All 2018. They may apply the older private entity.
financial statements prepared Malaysian national GAAP (known
pursuant to any law administered by as Financial Reporting Standards An entity may only be treated as
the Securities Commission Malaysia (FRS) Framework) for annual periods a private entity in relation to such
(SC), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) beginning before 1 January 2018. annual periods or interim periods
and the CCM have to comply with An entity that consolidates or equity throughout which it is a private entity.
approved accounting standards issued accounts the TEs are also granted
by the MASB. similar exception. Private entities shall comply with
MASB Approved Accounting MASB Approved Accounting 1. Malaysian Private Entities
Standards for Entities other than Standards for Private Entities Reporting Standards (MPERS)
Private Entities in their entirety for financial
A private entity is a private company as statements with annual periods
Entities other than Private Entities defined in section 2 of the Companies beginning on or after 1 January
shall apply the Malaysian Financial Act 2016 that: 2016. The MPERS is based on the
Reporting Standards (MFRS) (a) is not itself required to prepare International Financial Reporting
Framework which is identical to the or lodge any financial statements Standard for Small and Medium-
International Financial Reporting under any law administered by the sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs)
Standards (IFRS), with the exception SC or BNM; and issued by the International
of Transitioning Entities (TEs). TEs (b) is not a subsidiary or associate of, Accounting Standards Board
are entities subject to the application or jointly controlled by an entity (IASB) in 2009 and IASB’s 2015
of MFRS 141 Agriculture and/or IC which is required to prepare or Amendments to the IFRS for SME
Interpretation 15 Agreements for the lodge any financial statements issued in May 2015 except for
Construction of Real Estate. under any law administered by the property development activities; or
SC or BNM. 2. MFRS in their entirety.
3. FRS in their entirety for financial
Notwithstanding the above, a private statements with annual periods
company that is itself, or is a subsidiary beginning before 1 January 2018,
or associate of, or jointly controlled only for TEs.


Auditing requirements

Auditors The directors of a public company Approved standards on auditing

must appoint an auditor at any
A company must appoint an time before the first annual general Approved standards on auditing in
auditor for each financial year. The meeting of the company or to fill a Malaysia are those International
Registrar have the power to exempt casual vacancy the office of auditor. Standards on Auditing (ISA) issued or
any private company from the If the directors fail to appoint an adopted by the International Auditing
requirement to appoint an auditor auditor, the shareholders must and Assurance Standards Board
according to the conditions as appoint an auditor by ordinary (IAASB) that have been adopted in
determined by the Registrar. resolution. After the first annual Malaysia by the MIA.
general meeting, the shareholders
The directors of a private company have the right to appoint an auditor
must appoint an auditor at least 30 by ordinary resolution at the annual
days before the end of the period for general meeting or when the
the submission of the first financial company fails to appoint an auditor
statements to the Registrar (for at an annual general meeting. If a
newly incorporated companies) or public company fails to appoint an
to fill a casual vacancy the office auditor, the Registrar has the power
of auditor. If the directors fail to to appoint one or more auditors
appoint an auditor, the shareholders upon application in writing from any
must appoint an auditor by ordinary shareholder of the company.
resolution. Auditor must be
appointed 30 days before the expiry To qualify for appointment, a person
of the period allowed for lodgement must be approved as an “approved
of the previous year’s financial auditor” by the Minister of Finance.
statements with the Registrar. If a No auditor will be so approved if he
private company fails to appoint an is not a member of the Malaysian
auditor, the Registrar has the power Institute of Accountants (MIA).
to appoint one or more auditors
upon application in writing from any
shareholder of the company.

PwC / 53
Chapter 5

Principle taxes
Income tax
Corporate tax system
Tax administration
Transfer pricing
Business reorganizations

PwC / 55
Principal taxes Income tax

The principal taxes are shown below: Scope of tax Taxable income and gains

Taxes on income Income tax is imposed on income The sources of income subject to tax
Income tax accruing in or derived from Malaysia include those listed below:
Petroleum income tax with the general exception of resident • Gains or profits from any trade,
companies carrying on a business business, profession, or vocation.
Taxes on transactions of air/sea transport, banking or • Gains or profits from employment,
Customs and excise duties insurance, which are subject to income including allowances and benefits
Goods and Services tax tax on a world income scope. (Specific in kind.
Entertainment tax exemptions are available for Malaysian • Dividends, interest and discounts.
Stamp duty banks, insurance companies and • Rents, royalties and premiums.
Windfall profit levy takaful companies subject to specified • Pensions, annuities and other
Contract levy conditions.) periodic payments.
• Any gains or profits not falling
Taxes on capital gains Classes of taxpayers within the gains listed above
There is no capital gains tax except • Amounts received by a non-resident
for real property gains tax (RPGT) The principal classes of domestic person for provision of technical
which is a tax on gains arising from the and foreign taxpayers covered by the advice, assistance or services, or
disposal of real property or shares in income tax legislation are companies, the provision of services relating to
real property companies (RPC). individuals, trade associations, the installation or operation of any
co-operative societies, trusts, and apparatus or plant.
estates. Generally, partnerships are • Rent or other payments for the use
not taxable entities. They are treated of movable property received by a
as conduits in which the partners non-resident.
and not the partnership, are taxed on
the partnership income. However, a
Limited Liability Partnership, which
is given the same tax treatment as


Corporate tax system

Residence of companies business which closes its accounts profits are derived from Malaysia is
on 30 June 2017, is the financial to determine whether the foreign
A company is tax resident in Malaysia year ending 30 June 2017. All corporation is “trading within”
in a basis year if at any time during non-business sources of income of Malaysia (taxable) or “trading with”
the basis year, the management and a company are also assessed on the Malaysia (non-taxable).
control of its affairs are exercised basis of the financial year.
in Malaysia. Generally, a company If a double taxation agreement with
would be regarded as resident in Taxation of shareholders the home country of the foreign
Malaysia if at any time during the corporation is in force, the taxation of
basis period for a year of assessment, Malaysia is on a single-tier business profits derived by the foreign
at least one meeting of the Board system. Under this system, tax on corporation is limited to the profits
of Directors is held in Malaysia a company’s profits is a final tax. that are attributable to its permanent
concerning the management and Dividends are exempt in the hands establishment situated in Malaysia.
control of the company. of shareholders, and companies
are not required to deduct tax at With respect to income such as
Year of assessment and source from dividends distributed to royalties, interest or service fees that is
basis period shareholders. not attributable to a business carried
on in Malaysia, the tax liability of the
The year of assessment (YA) is the Foreign corporations – non-resident will be settled by way
year coinciding with the calendar liability to tax of withholding tax deducted by the
year. For example, YA 2017 is the paying entity.
year ending 31 December 2017. The Foreign corporations (similar to
basis period for a business source is Malaysian corporations) are taxed
normally the financial year ending in on income accruing in or derived
that particular YA. For example the from Malaysia. A broad basis for
basis period for YA 2017 for a determining whether or not business

PwC / 57
Rates of tax

Resident companies are taxed at the rate of 24%. However, a resident Withholding tax
company with paid-up capital of RM2.5 million or less is taxed at the Payments of the above types of
following rates (provided that specified conditions are met with): income to non-residents (except
for dividends) are subject to
Chargeable income RM Rate (%) (YA 2017) withholding tax which is due
and payable to the Inland
On the first 500,000 18
Revenue Board (IRB) within one
In excess of 500,000 24 month after paying or crediting
such payments. The rates of
Non-resident companies are taxed at the rate of 24% on their business withholding tax are as shown
income. above, except where the double
taxation agreement (DTA)
Certain income received by a non-resident company that is not between the Malaysia and the
attributable to a business carried on by that non-resident in Malaysia is country in which the recipient
subject to tax at the following rates (unless the relevant double taxation is resident, provides for a lower
agreement provides for some other rate): rate, in which case the DTA rate
would be the withholding tax
Rate (%) rate. Appendix D(5.1) shows
the list of countries that have
Royalty 10 concluded DTAs with Malaysia
Rental of moveable property 10 and the rates of tax applicable to
interest, royalties and technical
Technical or management service fee 10 fees provided in the respective
Interest 15 agreements.
Dividends Exempt
Income other than the above 10


Gross income and profits Capital allowances Other buildings that qualify include
from business the following:
The depreciation charged in the • Buildings used solely for storage
Gross income subject to income tax books in arriving at the commercial of goods for export or storage of
is generally based on the audited profit is not deductible for tax imported goods that are to be
financial statements of the company. purposes. The law, however, processed and re-exported;
Business profits are computed on the provides for corresponding • Buildings used by a water,
basis of the audited accounts, with deductions for certain fixed assets electricity or telecommunications
adjustments made for non-taxable used for the purposes of the business undertaking for the purpose of
and non tax deductible items. in the form of capital allowances supplying water or electricity or
(CA). The broad categories of providing telecommunications
Non-taxable income qualifying expenditure are described services to the public;
Capital receipts are non-taxable. below. • Licensed private hospitals,
Certain types of income may also maternity or nursing homes;
be specifically exempted by statute. Industrial buildings (IB) • Buildings used as an old folks
“Single-tier” dividends as well as IB allowances are given on home or a school or educational
dividends paid out of tax exempt qualifying expenditure incurred institution or for approved
income received by a corporation on the construction or purchase industrial, technical or vocational
are exempt from tax in the hands of of buildings or structures used as training;
shareholders. factories, docks, wharves, jetties, • Buildings used for approved service
warehouses, farm buildings, or in projects; and
Deductible expenses the working of a mine. Expenditure • Certain buildings used for the
on land cannot be included in provision of living accommodations
Deductions are allowed for all qualifying building expenditure, or child-care facilities for
outgoings and expenses incurred and buildings used as showrooms, employees.
wholly and exclusively in producing retail shops, offices, and dwelling
gross income, unless specifically houses, do not normally qualify as The cost of construction of public
disallowed. Non-allowable IB. However, an office may qualify roads and ancillary structures for the
expenses include domestic or for CA if it forms part of an IB and its business of toll collection also qualifies
private expenses, income tax or cost does not exceed 10 percent of for IB allowances.
similar taxes, pre-incorporation, the total building cost.
preliminary or start up expenses,
capital withdrawn, or capital
expenditure on improvements.

PwC / 59
Where more than one-tenth of the An initial allowance is granted in the vehicles purchased on or after 28
floor space of a special industrial year the expenditure is incurred. An October 2000, where the “on-the-
building is used for letting of property, annual allowance at the prescribed road price” of the vehicle does not
only the part of the building not used rates of 10, 14 or 20% calculated exceed RM150,000, the maximum
for purposes of letting of property on qualifying expenditure, is given qualifying expenditure is restricted to
qualifies as industrial building. for every year wherein the asset is RM100,000.
in use at the end of the year for the
The Ministry of Finance may also purposes of the business. Where an Plantations and forests
prescribe a building that is used for asset is acquired under hire purchase Expenditure on new planting
the purpose of a person’s business as (installment payments), initial and (as distinct from expenditure on
an IB. annual allowances are granted on replanting, which is deductible) and
the capital repayments made during on the construction of roads in a
Rates of IB allowance the year. plantation, qualifies for an agriculture
The rate of initial allowance for IB is allowance of 50% of cost for two years.
10%, while annual allowance is given Accelerated capital allowance may Expenditure on the construction of
at 3% of qualifying expenditure. be allowed under specific statutory roads in a forest, or of buildings that
provisions for certain plant and are likely to be of little or no value
Plant and machinery machinery whereby the whole cost when the plantation ceases to be
Qualifying plant expenditure include: of the asset may be fully written off worked, or when timber ceases to be
• The cost of assets used in a within periods of between 1 and extracted, qualifies for an agriculture
business (such as plant and 3 years, depending on the type of allowance of 10% of cost for ten
machinery, office equipment, asset. Small-value assets costing years. The cost of construction of
furniture and fittings and motor less than RM1,300 each are eligible buildings used for staff welfare or as
vehicles); for 100% capital allowance, subject living accommodation, qualifies for an
• Cost of installation and to a cap of RM13,000 on the total agriculture allowance of 20% of cost
construction of plant and value of such assets. There is also a for five years.
machinery; and limit on the qualifying expenditure
• Expenditure on fish ponds, animal on motor vehicles not licensed
pens, cages, and other structures for commercial transportation of
used for pastoral pursuits. goods or passengers (restricted
to RM50,000). However, for new


Mining Companies are not allowed to deduct Disposals within 2 years
A mining allowance is given on unutilized CA brought forward from In the case of an asset sold within two
expenditure on searching for, a prior year against income of a years of purchase, CA that has been
discovering, gaining access to, or particular YA if the shareholders of the previously granted may be withdrawn
acquiring the source of or rights company at the beginning of the basis unless there is commercial justification
to mineral deposits of a depleting period for that YA are not substantially for the disposal.
nature. The construction of works the same as the shareholders of the
and buildings that are likely to be of company at the end of the basis period Controlled transfers
little or no value when the source is for the (prior) YA in which the loss No balancing adjustments will
no longer worked also qualifies for was initially ascertained. However, be made where assets are sold or
mining allowance. This allowance the Ministry of Finance has issued transferred between companies under
is calculated so as to write off the guidelines which state that the above common control. In such cases, the
expenditure over the life of the mine. rule restricting carry-forward CA actual consideration for the transfer
Machinery and equipment not meeting based on the shareholder continuity of the asset is disregarded, and the
the ‘no value’ test qualify for initial and test would only apply to dormant disposer/acquirer is deemed to have
annual allowances at normal rates for companies. disposed of/acquired the assets at
plant and machinery. their tax-written down values.
Balancing adjustments upon
Deduction of capital allowances disposal of assets
CA on assets used in one business Balancing adjustments will arise
cannot be deducted against income upon the disposal of assets on which
from another business, or against CA have been claimed. A balancing
income from other non-business charge/allowance is the excess/
sources. shortfall of the sale proceeds over the
tax written down value of the asset
When there is insufficient adjusted disposed of. The balancing charge is
income to absorb the full amount of restricted to the amount of allowances
allowances available, the unutilized previously claimed.
amount is carried forward for
deduction against future business
income from the same source.

PwC / 61
Losses Group relief Capital gains and other taxes
Group relief is available to all locally
Business losses can be set off against incorporated, resident companies Other than real property gains tax
income from all sources in the that fulfilled certain conditions. (RPGT), no tax is imposed on capital
current year. Any unutilized losses Companies that qualify were allowed gains. For more details on RPGT and
can be carried forward indefinitely to surrender a maximum of 70 % of other taxes, please refer to Chapter 7.
to be utilized against income from its adjusted loss for a YA to one or
any business source. Companies are more related companies. Companies
not allowed to deduct a loss brought opting for group relief must make an
forward from a prior year against irrevocable election to surrender or
income of a particular YA if the claim the tax loss in the return to be
shareholders of the company at the filed with the IRB for that YA.
beginning of the basis period for that
YA are not substantially the same Companies currently enjoying
as the shareholders of the company certain incentives such as pioneer
at the end of the basis period for status, investment tax allowance,
the (prior) YA in which the loss reinvestment allowance etc. are not
was initially ascertained. However, eligible for group relief.
the Ministry of Finance has issued
guidelines which state that the above
rule restricting carry-forward losses
based on the shareholder continuity
test would only apply to dormant


Tax administration

Submission of returns and estimate can be submitted in the 6th Public rulings and advance rulings
assessments and 9th months of the basis period for
a year of assessment. Companies are To facilitate compliance with the
Under the Self Assessment System then required to pay tax by monthly SAS, the Director General of Inland
(SAS) companies are required to installments (based on the estimates Revenue (DGIR) is empowered by law
submit a return of income within 7 submitted) commencing from the to issue public rulings. Public rulings
months after the closing of accounts. second month of the company’s basis set out the interpretation of the DGIR
Particulars required to be specified period (financial year). in respect of a particular tax law, and
in the return include the amount of the policy and procedures that are to
chargeable income and tax payable A company commencing operations be applied. Public rulings are binding
by the company. Upon submission of in a YA, is not required to furnish on the DGIR but a taxpayer who has
the return, an assessment is deemed estimates of tax payable or make applied the treatment as set out in
to have been made on the company. instalment payments if the basis a particular public ruling may still
The return is deemed to be a notice period for the YA in which the appeal against an assessment which is
of assessment, which is deemed to be company commences operations is less based on the public ruling. All public
served on the company on the date than 6 months. rulings may be downloaded from the
that it is submitted. IRB’s website at www.hasil.gov.my.
Tax payable by a company under an
Tax collection assessment upon submission of a A taxpayer may request for an
return is due and payable by the “due advance ruling from the DGIR, who
Companies are required to furnish date”. The “due date” is defined as the may make an advance ruling on how
estimates of their tax payable for last day on expiry of 7 months from any provision of the law applies to
a YA not later than 30 days before the date on which the accounts are an arrangement described in the
the beginning of the basis period. closed. application. An advance ruling is only
However, a newly established company applicable to the person making the
with paid-up capital of RM 2.5 million application and is not subject to review
and less that meets certain specified when issued. However, the taxpayer
conditions, is exempted from this retains his right of appeal against any
requirement for 2 years, beginning assessment issued in accordance with
from the YA in which the company the tax treatment set out in the ruling.
commences operation. A revised A charge will be imposed for the
issuance of an advance ruling.

PwC / 63
Transfer pricing

Transfer pricing (TP) legislation With regard to thin capitalization, Advance pricing arrangements
the portion of the interest charge that (APA)
The basis for determining proper relates to the amount of financial
compensation is, almost universally, assistance which is excessive will be Companies are allowed to apply
the arm’s length principle which has disallowed a deduction. This would for APAs from the DGIR. The
also been accepted by the IRB. cover cross-border related party objective of establishing APAs is to
transactions as well as those involving provide an avenue for taxpayers to
The arm’s length principle was domestic group of companies. obtain certainty upfront that their
incorporated into Section 140A of However, the specific rules to be related party transactions meet the
the Malaysian Income Tax Act, 1967 made under this provision have not arm’s length standard. The IRB has
(ITA). It allows the DGIR to adjust any been issued, and the effective date of issued the APA Rules 2012 and APA
transfer prices between related parties implementation of thin capitalization Guidelines 2012 to give guidance on
in Malaysia which, in the view of the rules has been further deferred to 31 the matter.
DGIR, do not meet the arm’s length December 2017.

What constitutes “arm’s length” is not

defined in the ITA. Consequently, the
IRB have issued the TP Rules 2012
and the revised TP Guidelines 2012
to give guidance on the arm’s length
standard that is acceptable to the IRB.
The TP Rules and Guidelines seek to
provide guidance on the application of
the law on controlled transactions, the
acceptable methodologies as provided
in the rules and administrative
requirements including the types of
records and documentation expected
from taxpayers involved in transfer
pricing arrangements.


Business reorganizations

Incorporation Merger or amalgamation In other cases of transfer, the transfer

values of the fixed assets will constitute
The transfer of a business by a sole The merging of two corporations qualifying expenditure for the purpose
proprietor or a partnership to a by an exchange of shares normally of computing capital allowances of
corporation will result in the profits has no tax consequences unless the transferee corporation, and for the
of the business being subject to tax one of them is a real property transferor corporation, the disposal
at the corporate tax rate of 24% company. In such cases, there value of assets disposed of, on which
as from the date of transfer, as may be RPGT implications arising computation of balancing charge or
opposed to being taxed at graduated from an exchange of shares as the allowances will be based.
rates for personal tax. Unutilized transaction may be regarded as
business losses and CA available to an acquisition and disposal of real Group relief (outlined above) is
the Malaysian branch of a foreign property company shares available to all locally incorporated tax
company are non-transferable upon resident companies that fulfil certain
local incorporation. If the two corporations being conditions.
merged are under common control,
transfer of any asset between them There may also be stamp duty
is regarded as a “controlled transfer” implications when assets are
wherein the disposer/acquirer transferred. Relief from stamp
is deemed to have disposed of / duty may be available where assets
acquired the assets at the tax written are transferred under a scheme of
down value. (“Control” means reconstruction or amalgamation of
management control or the holding companies and certain prescribed
of 50 % or more of the shares by conditions are satisfied. Relief is also
the disposer/acquirer or other available under certain circumstances
controlling corporation.) on the transfer of assets between
associated companies where either
company owns 90% or more of the
other company or where a third
company owns 90% or more of both.
(See Chapter 7)

PwC / 65
Chapter 6

Scope of tax
Taxable income
Basis of assessment
Residence status of individuals
Rates of tax
Employment income
Exemptions and concessional tax treatment for
foreign nationals
Tax rebates
Filing obligations and tax collection
Capital gains

PwC / 67
Scope of tax Residence status of individuals

Income tax is imposed on income An individual is regarded as a tax • in Malaysia for 90 days or more
accruing in or derived from resident if he meets any of the following during the year and, in any 3
Malaysia by any person. conditions, i.e. if he is: of the 4 immediately preceding
• in Malaysia for at least 182 days in a years, he was in Malaysia for at
calendar year; least 90 days or was resident in
Taxable income • in Malaysia for a period of less than Malaysia;
182 days during the year (shorter • resident for the year immediately
An individual is taxable on the period) but that period is linked following that year and for each
income that is sourced from to a period of physical presence of of the 3 immediately preceding
Malaysia. (See Chapter 5.) Gains 182 or more “consecutive” days years.
or profits from an employment, in the following or preceding year
profession or vocation are taxable if (longer period). Temporary absences
derived from Malaysia. Employment from Malaysia for the following
income is regarded as derived reasons forms part of the shorter
from Malaysia if the employment is or longer period if he is in Malaysia
exercised in Malaysia and is subject immediately prior to and after that
to Malaysian tax, even if the income temporary absence:
is paid outside of Malaysia. i) absence connected with his
service in Malaysia and owing
to service matters or attending
Basis of assessment conferences or seminars or
study abroad;
Income is assessed to tax on a ii) absence owing to ill-health
current year basis. All income of involving himself or any
persons other than a company, immediate member of the
cooperative, limited liability family; and
partnership or trust body, are iii) absence in respect of social visits
assessed on a calendar year basis. not exceeding 14 days in the
The year of assessment (YA) is the aggregate;
year coinciding with the calendar
year, for example, the YA 2016 is the
year ending 31 December 2016.


Rates of tax – Exemptions and concessional tax treatment
resident and non-resident for foreign nationals
Please see Appendix E(6.1). • Non-resident employees, who are -- on housing allowance and
short-term visitors (other than Labuan Territory allowance
public entertainers), are exempt received by a citizen from an
from tax on their income from employment in Labuan with
Employment income employment exercised in Malaysia a Labuan entity (exempt to
if the aggregate period(s) of the extent of 50% of gross
Gross employment income includes employment in in a calendar allowance) (YA 2011 to YA 2020)
the following: year do not exceed 60 days or a • A qualified person (defined
a) wages, salary, leave pay, fees, continuous period of employment by legislation), who may be a
commissions, bonuses, gratuities, overlapping two calendar years Malaysian or foreign citizen,
perquisites (Appendix E(6.2))or does not exceed 60 days. If a short- and who is a knowledge worker
allowances (whether in money or term visiting employee is resident residing in Iskandar Malaysia is
otherwise), in a country that has a double tax taxed at the rate of 15% on income
b) benefits in kind (Appendix E(6.2)), treaty with Malaysia, the qualifying from an employment with a
c) value of living accommodation period is generally extended to designated company engaged in a
provided by the employer for the 183 days provided certain other qualified activity in that specified
employee, prescribed conditions are satisfied. region. The employment must
d) receipts from unapproved • Income tax exemption is granted: have commenced on or after 24
pension or provident fund arising -- to foreign nationals who are October 2009 but not later than 31
from contributions made by exercising an employment in December 2015. We understand
the employer in respect of that a managerial capacity with a that the commencement criteria
employee, and Labuan entity in Labuan, co- has been extended to 2020. The
e) compensation for loss of located office or marketing office reduced tax rate is only applicable
employment (YA 2011 to YA 2020 only). The in respect of employment income
exemption is on 50% of gross from that designated company
Restricted exemptions are available income from such employment. beginning from 1 January 2010.
in respect of some perquisites and -- on director’s fees received by a
benefits-in-kind (Appendix E(6.2)). director of a Labuan entity, who
is a non-Malaysian citizen, for
the YA 2011 to 2020

PwC / 69

• An approved individual under the Expenses and other payments to approved institutions are also
Returning Expert Programme who Employees are allowed a deduction deductible but limited to 7% of
is a resident is taxed at the rate for any expenditure wholly aggregate income.
of 15% on income in respect of and exclusively incurred in the
having or exercising employment performance of their duties, but Personal relief
with a person in Malaysia for 5 deduction of capital allowance (e.g. Personal reliefs are deductible from
consecutive years of assessment. on a vehicle used in the performance the total income of a tax resident
• Expatriates (non Malaysian of their duties) is not available. Where individual to arrive at taxable income.
citizens) working in approved an employer provides an allowance See Appendix E(6.3) for the list of
Operational Headquarters, for business purposes, such as for personal reliefs available.
Regional Offices, International entertaining clients or customers,
Procurement Centres, Regional the employee may only deduct up to
Distribution Centres or Treasury the amount of the actual expenditure
Management Centres, who are incurred or the allowance received. Tax Rebates
based in Malaysia are taxed on
a time apportionment basis in Non-business expenses, such as Individuals who are tax resident in
accordance with the employment medical expenses and taxes, are not Malaysia may qualify for the following
income attributable to the deductible. Expenses of a private tax rebates which are deducted from
number of days the employment or domestic nature are expressly tax chargeable on that individual:
is exercised in Malaysia. excluded from deduction. For • Individuals with chargeable income
example, the cost of engaging of not more than RM35,000 are
domestic help for housekeeping while granted a rebate of RM400.
one is away at work is not deductible. • A rebate is also granted for any
Mortgage interest incurred to finance zakat, fitrah or any other Islamic
the purchase of a house is deductible religious dues (obligatory
only to the extent of any rental income payments) paid during the year and
derived from the house (which is a evidenced by receipts issued by an
taxable source). Subscriptions to an appropriate religious authority.
association related to the individual’s
profession and fees incurred for The above rebate granted is deducted
training courses related to one’s from tax charged and any excess is not
profession are deductible. Donations refundable.


Filing obligations and tax collection Capital gains

Self assessment Payment of tax Real property gains tax

A Self Assessment System (SAS) for Tax payments by employees are There is no capital gains tax in
individuals has been implemented collected through compulsory Malaysia other than Real Property
under which the taxpayer is monthly deductions from salary or Gains Tax (RPGT). See Chapter 7
responsible for computing his own bi-monthly instalment plan issued (Other Taxes) for more details.
chargeable income and tax payable, by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).
as well as making payments of any Under the SAS, the balance of tax
balance of tax due. for a year of assessment is due and
payable on the following dates (the
The tax return form for a YA (year due dates) following that YA:
ended 31 December) is due for • 30 April for individuals deriving
submission not later than 30 April non-business income,
following the year of assessment for • 30 June for those with business
individuals without business income, income as well as other income
and 30 June following the year sources.
of assessment for individuals with
business income. Taxpayers now have
the option of submitting their returns
manually or by “e-filing” through the
Inland Revenue Board’s website.

Upon submission of the Return Form,

the taxpayer is deemed to have been
served with a notice of assessment for
which tax is due and payable.

PwC / 71
Chapter 7
Other taxes

Sales tax
Service tax
Goods and services tax
Import duties
Export duties
Excise duties
Stamp duty
Other taxes

PwC / 73
Sales tax Service tax

Sales tax is a single stage tax Service tax is a consumption tax levied
imposed on all goods (unless and charged on any taxable service
specifically exempt) manufactured provided by any taxable person.
in or imported into Malaysia. It has
been repealed and replaced with Service tax has been repealed and
a single broad based Goods and replaced with a single broad based
Services Tax (GST) on 1 April 2015. Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 1
April 2015.


Goods and Services Tax

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) threshold is not required to register but are exported goods, international
was implemented in Malaysia effective may register on a voluntary basis. transportation of passengers,
1 April 2015 at the current prevailing medicines in the National Essential
standard rate of 6%. On the other hand, a person who Medicines List (NEML) and
makes wholly zero-rated supplies may international services. The detailed
Scope of tax request for approval from the Director list of zero rated supplies are provided
GST shall be charged on all the taxable General of the Royal Malaysian in the GST (Zero Rated Supply) Order
supply of goods and services made Customs to be exempted from GST 2014.
in the course or furtherance of any registration.
business in Malaysia by a taxable Exempt supply
person unless the supply qualifies for Where an overseas company has Supply of goods that are not subject
zero-rating (GST is at 0%), exempt liability to register for GST in Malaysia, to GST would be regarded as exempt
(not subject to GST) or supply is it has to appoint an agent in Malaysia supplies. Example of exempt supplies
granted relief. GST is also charged on for GST registration purposes. are sale of residential properties,
importation of goods at the point of private healthcare services, and
entry into the Country. All imported Types of supply private education, The detailed list of
services acquired for the purpose exempt supplies are provided in the
Standard rated supplies
of business (except exempt supply GST (Exempt Supply) Order 2014.
Taxable supply of goods or services
of services) that are consumed in
that are subject to GST at 6%. Example
Malaysia will be subject to GST based Supply granted relief
of standard rated supplies are sale of
on a self-accounting mechanism GST relief is granted by way of relief
commercial properties, construction
from payment of GST or relief from
services, and supply of professional
GST registration charging GST. Such supplies granted
consultancy services.
Businesses making taxable supplies relief are prescribed in the GST
(i.e standard rated and zero rated (Relief Supply) Order 2014. In certain
Zero-rated supply
supplies) in Malaysia must register for particular cases where the Order does
Taxable supply of goods or services
GST where the annual sales turnover not provide for, taxable persons may
that are subject to GST at 0%.
exceeds RM500,000. Businesses who apply to the Minister for relief from
Example of zero rated supplies
make taxable supplies below the payment or charging of tax.

PwC / 75
Place of supply (b) Date when any invoice is Input tax claim
In determining if a business makes received (previously was the date Input tax credit can only be claimed by
taxable supplies in Malaysia, the of invoice) from the overseas a GST registered person when he holds
place of supply rules is relied upon. supplier. a valid tax invoice and the following
Supply of goods is regarded as conditions are satisfied –
made in Malaysia if the goods are Value of supply • It is in the course or furtherance of
in Malaysia when the supply takes Where the supply is for a consideration business;
place. This applies to goods that in money, the value of the supply • It is attributable to the making of
remain in Malaysia and goods that are shall be taken to be an amount, with taxable supplies; and
exported out of Malaysia. For supply the addition of the tax chargeable, • It is not disallowed under the GST
of services, it is regarded as made in equal to the consideration. However, Regulations.
Malaysia if the supplier has a business if the supply is for a consideration
establishment or fixed establishment not in money, the value of supply Some examples of disallowed input tax
in Malaysia. shall be taken to be an amount, with purchases are purchase, importation,
the addition of the tax chargeable, hiring, repair, maintenance and
Time of supply equal to the open market value of that refurbishment of passenger motor
The general time of supply rules would consideration. car, club subscription, benefits
be the earlier of when: for employee’s family members,
(i) Goods removed / made available Issuance of tax invoice entertainment to non-employees or
or services performed; A taxable person is required to issue non-customer, etc.
(ii) Tax invoice is issued; or valid tax invoices which includes
(iii) Payment is received. all the particulars prescribed under A GST registered person who makes
Regulation 22 of the GST Regulations both taxable and exempt supplies is
Effective 1 January 2017, the time of 2014 for all the standard-rated only allowed to claim input tax credit
supply for imported services has been supplies made by him. A tax invoice is attributable to its taxable supplies.
revised to be the earlier of when: not required to be issued for zero rated Input tax that is attributable to both
(a) Payment is made by the supplied. taxable and exempt supplies has to
recipient; or be apportioned using the prescribed
formula (or other formula as approved
by the Royal Malaysian Customs


Special schemes Due date Records keeping
There are special schemes available The due date for filing of GST return The records for all transactions which
for selected businesses such as and GST payment (if any) is by the last affect or may affect the tax liability
manufacturing, toll-manufacturing, day of the month following the end of must be retained by all the taxable
second-hand car trading, jewellery the taxable period. persons. This includes –
manufacturing, farming and • All records of goods and services
warehousing that can help relieve cash Refund supplied by or to that taxable
flow problems arising from charging or For taxable persons that are on a person including tax invoices,
paying GST. However, these schemes refund position, the refund is to be invoices, receipts, debit notes,
are subject to qualifying conditions. made within: credit notes and export declaration
• 14 working days from the date of forms
Filing of GST returns and payment the online submission of the GST • All records of importations of goods
of taxes return; or • All other records as the Director
• 28 days from the date of the manual General may determine
Taxable period submission of the GST return.
A taxable person making annual The records above must be kept for a
taxable supplies of RM5 million or However, the refunds are generally
period of 7 years in either Malay or
more would be on a monthly taxable subject to verification which may
English language.
period whilst a taxable person making prolong the period in which the fund
annual taxable supplies of less than is granted.
RM5 million would be on a quarterly
taxable period.

Filing of GST return

GST returns can be filed manually
using the GST-03 form or online at the
Taxpayers Access Point (TAP) portal.

PwC / 77
Import duties

Imports of goods are generally subject Value of goods

to import duties. The value of goods for the purpose of
computing import duties is determined
Rates of tax largely in accordance with the World
Import duties are generally levied on Trade Organisation (WTO) principles
an ad valorem basis, but they may also of customs valuation.
be imposed on a specific basis. The ad
valorem rates range from 2% to 60%. Exemptions
Raw materials, machinery, essential Manufacturers may apply to the
foodstuffs, and pharmaceutical relevant authorities for exemption
products are generally non-dutiable or from import duties for the following:
subject to duties at lower rates. • raw materials and components
used directly for the manufacture
Tariff rate quota of goods for export and domestic
With effect from 1 April 2008, markets.
Malaysia implemented tariff rate • dutiable machinery and equipment
quota (TRQ) on selected agricultural which are used directly in the
products, such as chicken, milk and manufacturing process.
cream, hen eggs, cabbages. Under
TRQ, the tariff charged depends on Prohibition of imports
the volume of imports. Imports within Import restrictions are seldom
quota (volume) attract duties at a imposed except on a limited range
lower tariff rate while a higher tariff of products for protection of local
rate applies on goods in excess of the industries or for reasons of security
quota volume “out-quota tariff rate”. and public safety. An import licence
The quota applicable is determined by has to be obtained for the importation
the relevant agency, e.g. Department of prohibited goods.
of Veterinary Services.


Export duties Excise duties

Export duties are generally imposed Excise duties are imposed on a selected Rates of duties
on Malaysia’s main commodities range of goods manufactured in The rates of excise duties vary from a
such as crude petroleum and palm Malaysia or imported into Malaysia. composite rate of 10 sen per litre and
oil for revenue purpose. Goods which are subject to excise duty 15% for certain types of spirituous
include beer/stout, cider and perry, beverages, to as much as 105% for
rice wine, mead, undenatured ethyl motorcars (depending on engine
alcohol, brandy, whisky, rum and tafia, capacity).
gin, cigarettes containing tobacco,
motor vehicles, motorcycles, playing Payment of duty
cards and mahjong tiles. No excise As a general rule, duty is payable at
duty is payable on dutiable goods that the time the goods leave the place
are exported. of manufacture. However, for motor
vehicles, duty is payable at the time
Licensing the vehicles are registered with the
Unless exempted from licensing, a Road Transport Department.
manufacturer of tobacco, intoxicating
liquor or goods subject to excise duties
must have a licence to manufacture
such goods.

A warehouse licence is required for

storage of goods subject to excise duty.
However, a licence to manufacture
tobacco, intoxicating liquor or goods
subject to excise duty also permits the
holder to store such goods.

PwC / 79
Stamp duty

Stamp duty is chargeable on Rates of tax

instruments and not on transactions. The rates of duty vary according to the nature of the instruments and transacted
If a transaction can be effected values. Generally, the transfer of properties can give rise to significant stamp duty.
without creating an instrument
of transfer, no duty is payable. Properties (other than shares or marketable securities)
Generally, transfers of real property
or mortgages on real property and Value (RM) Rate Duty payable
transfers of marketable securities (RM)
(excluding stocks and shares of
public listed companies) attract On the first 100,000 RM1 per RM100 or 1,000
stamp duties. part thereof
On the next 400,000 RM2 per RM100 or 8,000
part thereof
500,000 9,000
In excess of 500,000 RM3 per RM100 or
part thereof

RM3 for every RM1,000 or any fraction thereof based on consideration or
value, whichever is greater. The Stamp Office generally adopts one of the 3
methods for valuation of ordinary shares for purposes of stamp duty:
• price earnings ratio;
• net tangible assets; and
• sale consideration.


Loan, services and equipment lease agreement Relief from stamp duty
Relief from stamp duty may be
Stamp duty of 0.5% on the value of the loan/services/lease. However stamp
available where assets are transferred
duty may be exempted or stamp duty in excess of 0.1% may be remitted for the
under a scheme of reconstruction
following instruments:
or amalgamation of companies and
certain prescribed conditions are
(i) Service agreement (executed on and after 1 January 2011): satisfied. Relief is also available
under certain circumstances on the
Stamp duty transfer of assets between associated
All service agreement (one tier) Ad valorem rate of companies where either company
0.1% owns 90% or more of the other
company or where a third company
Multi-tier service agreement
owns 90% or more of both
(a) Non-government contract First level Ad valorem rate of
(i.e. between private entity 0.1% Relief from stamp duty (either by way
and service providers Subsequent Up to RM50 of exemption or remission) are also
level(s) available for transactions involving
specified instruments and subject to
(b) Government contract (i.e. First level Exempted
prescribed conditions.
between Federal /State Second level Ad valorem rate of
Government of Malaysia or 0.1%
State / local authority and
service providers) Subsequent Up to RM50

(ii) Loan agreement / loan instrument:

Ringgit Malaysia loan agreements generally attract stamp duty at 0.5%.
However, a reduced stamp duty liability of 0.1% is available for loan agreements
or loan instrument without security and repayable on demand or in single bullet

PwC / 81
Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT)

RPGT is a tax that is imposed on capital gains arising from the sale of real
property or shares in a real property company (“chargeable assets”). A real
property company (RPC) is a controlled company that owns or acquires real
property or RPC shares with a defined value of not less than 75 percent of its total
tangible assets. RPGT is imposed at the following rates:

Disposal from the Companies Individuals Individuals

date acquisition and other (citizens & (non-
bodies permanent citizens)
Within 3 years 30 30 30
In the 4th year 20 20 30
In the 5th year 15 15 30
In the 6th year 5 Nil 5


Windfall profit levy Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF)
A levy is imposed on crude palm oil Employers engaged in the manufacturing and services sectors that employ more
and crude palm kernel oil where the than a specified number of employees must contribute to the HRDF. The levy
price exceeds RM2,500 per metric required to be paid is at the rate of 1 % of the employees’ monthly wages on a
ton in Peninsula Malaysia, and monthly basis. Employers in the manufacturing sector whose paid-up capital
RM3,000 per metric ton in Sabah and is less than RM2.5 million and with 10 employees and above but less than 50
Sarawak. employees may opt to be registered and make levy payments at the reduced rate
of 0.5 % of the employees’ monthly wages.

Contract levy Assessment, quit rent and road tax

A levy of 0.125% on contract Assessment rates and quit rent is payable by property owners according to
works having a contract sum the legislation of the local or municipal authorities on properties located in
above RM500,000 is imposed on areas under their jurisdiction. Essentially, these levies are intended for the
every registered contractor by the maintenance and the provision of essential services to the areas. The tax is levied
Construction Industry Development as a percentage either of the capital value or the taxable value of the property.
Board (CIDB).
Road tax is levied on owners of motor vehicles at rates that vary according to the
type of vehicle and engine capacity.

PwC / 83
About PwC

PwC / 85
Delivering the value you’re looking for

PwC’s global network PwC in Malaysia Assurance

Our Assurance Group provides
PwC firms provide industry-focused We have played an integral part in the assurance on your business’ financial
assurance, tax and advisory services growth and progress of Malaysia since performance and operations in these
to enhance value for their clients. 1900. Today, we work with many large areas:
More than 195,000 people in 157 multinationals, public sector entities • Statutory audit
countries in firms across the PwC and Malaysian companies, delivering • Internal audit
network share their thinking, solutions to them through our • Financial accounting
experience and solutions to develop assurance, tax and advisory services. • Non-financial performance and
fresh perspectives and practical reporting
advice. Our aim is to deliver value to you at • Regulatory compliance
all times. How we use our knowledge • Independent systems and process
and experience to deliver that value, assurance
depends on what you want to achieve. • Risk advisory services
We’ll start by asking questions. Are • Financial Reporting Standards
you looking to build trust? Give your readiness and conversion
shareholders more value? Or do you
want to do something new with your We can also help you improve your
business? external financial reporting and adapt
to new regulatory requirements. Our
You can expect, when working with clients are both big and small – but we
anyone of our team of more than 2,200 always tailor our audit approach to
people in Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, meet your needs.
Ipoh, Melaka, Johor Bahru and
Labuan, that we’ll get to know you,
your business and your goals. That’s
how we’ll help you get there.


Tax Deals services Contacts
Addressing your tax needs is a way Our Deals team helps you do better
of improving your overall business deals and create value through Assurance
or financial health. Our solution sets mergers, acquisitions, disposals and Pauline Ho
include: restructuring. We help you develop Partner
• Corporate tax compliance & the right strategy before the deal, T: +60 (3) 2173 0946
planning execute the deal seamlessly, identify E: pauline.ho@my.pwc.com
• International assignments and issues and points of negotiation and
personal tax compliance value, and implement changes for Tax
• Corporate services improvements after the deal. Jagdev Singh
• Indirect tax Senior Executive Director
• Transfer pricing and Consulting services T: +60 (3) 2173 1469
investigations In Consulting, we aim to help E: jagdev.singh@my.pwc.com
you build effective organisations,
We work with both organisations innovate and grow, reduce costs, Deals services
and individuals to optimise their tax manage risk and regulation, and Tan Siow Ming
efficiencies, implement innovative manage talent better. At the end of Senior Executive Director
tax planning and maintain the day, you work smarter and grow T: +60 (3) 2173 1228
compliance. faster. E: siow.ming.tan@my.pwc.com

Consulting services
Sundara Raj
Senior Executive Director
T: +60 (3) 2173 1318
E: sundara.raj@my.pwc.com

PwC / 87

Investment guarantee agreements

A (1.1)
(1.2) Government departments and agencies
B (2.1)Structuring an investment
(2.2) Important Regulatory Agencies
C (3.1)Minimum conditions of employment
D (5.1)Double Tax Treaties and withholding tax rates
Rates of personal tax
E (6.1)
(6.2)Value of perquisites from employment and
(6.3) Personal reliefs

PwC / 89



Investment guarantee
Malaysia has signed Investment Guarantee Agreements
with the following groupings and countries:

• Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Albania Ghana Saudi Arabia
Algeria Guinea Senegal
Argentina Hungary Slovak, Republic of
Austria India Spain
Bahrain Iran Sri Lanka
Bangladesh Italy Sudan, Republic of
Belgo-Luxembourg Jordan Sweden
Burkina Faso Kazakhstan Switzerland
Cambodia Korea, North Syrian Arab Republic
Canada Korea, South Taiwan (Taipei)
Chile, Republic of Kuwait Turkey
China, People’s Republic of Lebanon Turkmenistan
Croatia Macedonia United Arab Emirates
Cuba Mongolia United States of America
Czech Republic Morocco United Kingdom
Denmark Namibia Uruguay
Egypt Netherlands Uzbekistan
Ethiopia, Republic of Peru Vietnam
Finland Poland Yemen
France Romania Zimbabwe
Germany San Marino

Source: Ministry of International Trade and Industry website at 19 December 2016

PwC / 91

departments and


Government departments
and agencies
Ministry of International Trade Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co- Immigration Department
and Industry (MITI) operatives and Consumerism (Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia)
(Kementerian Perdagangan (MDTCC) Level 1-7 (Podium) No 15,
Antarabangsa dan Industri) (Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Persiaran Perdana, Precint 2
Menara MITI, No. 7, Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan) 62550 Putrajaya.
Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, No 13, Persiaran Perdana, Presint 2,
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 62623 Putrajaya, Malaysia T: +60 (3) 8000 8000
W: www.imi.gov.my/
T: +60 (3) 8000 8000 Hotline: 1800 886 800
F: +60 (3) 6202 3446 T: +60 (3) 8000 8000 The Immigration Department is part
E: webmiti@miti.gov.my F: +60 (3) 8882 5762 of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The
W: www.miti.gov.my/ W: www.kpdnkk.gov.my responsibilities of this department
include safeguarding national
This ministry has overall responsibility This ministry formulates policies security; ensuring compliance with
for all aspects of international trade and implements measures aimed at the Immigration Act 1959/1963,
and industrial development. creating a healthy commercial climate Immigration Regulations 1963 and
in the country and at providing Passport Act 1966; issuing passports
adequate protection to local industries. and other travel documents;
This Ministry is the main reference controlling entry into and departure
for any query/application relating to from Malaysia.
foreign participation in wholesale and
retail trade.

PwC / 93
Ministry of Science, Technology Ministry of Natural Resources Malaysia Productivity
and Innovation and Environment Corporation (MPC)
(Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan (Kementerian Sumber Asli dan (Perbadanan Produktiviti Malaysia)
Inovasi) Level 1-7, Block C4 & C5, Alam Sekitar) Lorong Produktiviti, Jalan Sultan
Complex C, Federal Government Wisma Sumber Asli, No.25 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Administrative Centre, Wilayah Persiaran Perdana, Presint 4,
Persekutuan Putrajaya 62662, 62574 Putrajaya, Malaysia T: +60 (3) 7955 7266
Malaysia F: +60 (3) 7957 8068
T: +60 (3) 8000 8000 E: marketing@mpc.gov.my
T: +60 (3) 8000 8000 F: +60 (3) 8889 2672 W: www.mpc.gov.my
F: +60 (3) 8888 9070 W: www.nre.gov.my/
W: www.mosti.gov.my/ MPC’s mission hinges on its efforts to
The ministry is responsible for enhance productivity and quality in
Malaysian Science and Technology the nation’s nature resources line with the national industrialization
Information Centre: management; conservation and plan by providing training, promotion,
W: http://mastic.gov.my/ management of environment and consultancy and research services.
shelters; and management of land
This ministry is responsible for survey and mapping administration. Malaysian Technology Development
promoting awareness, research Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (MTDC)
and development in science and Malaysia External Trade Development Ground Floor, Menara Yayasan Tun
technology Corporation (MATRADE) Razak, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100
Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ministry of Agriculture and 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Agro-Based Industry T: +60 (3) 2172 6000
(Kementerian Pertanian & T: +60 (3) 6207 7077 F: +60 (3) 2163 7541
Industri Asas Tani) F: +60 (3) 6203 7037 E: comms@mtdc.com.my
Blok 4G1 Wisma Tani, E: info@matrade.gov.my W: www.mtdc.com.my
No.28 Persiaran Perdana W: www.matrade.gov.my/
Presint 4, Pusat Pentadbiran MTDC was set up to to promote the
Kerajaan Persekutuan MATRADE is an export development commercialization of research and
62624 Putrajaya Malaysia organization that assists Malaysian innovation for application and be an
entrepreneurs to develop foreign Integrated Venture Capital Solutions
T: +60 (3) 8870 1000/1400 markets for products and services Provider to encourage venture capital
F: +60 (3) 8888 6906 from Malaysia. It also organizes trade in technology based areas.
W: www.moa.gov.my missions, facilitates participation in
trade fairs, and puts buyers and sellers
The Ministry of Agriculture and together and assist foreign importers
Agro-based Industry is responsible to source for trade related information
for improving the incomes of farmers, by providing market and relevant
livestock breeders and fishermen by advice. MATRADE is supported by 40
efficient utilization of the nation’s overseas offices around the world.
resources and manages food
production for domestic consumption
and export.


Malaysian Investment Development Malaysian Industrial Development Companies Commission Malaysia (CCM)
Authority (MIDA) Finance Berhad (MIDF) (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia)
(Lembaga Pembangunan Pelaburan Level 19, Menara MIDF, 82, No 7, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5,
Malaysia) Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
MIDA Sentral, No.5, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50623 Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Stesen Sentral 5
Kuala Lumpur Sentral T: +60 (3) 2173 8888 T: +60 (3) 2299 4400
50470 Kuala Lumpur F: +60 (3) 2173 8877 F: +60 (3) 2299 4411
W: www.midf.com.my/ Hotline: +60 (3) 2299 4400
T: +60 (3) 2267 3633 E: enquiry@ssm.com.my
F: +60 (3) 2274 7970 MIDF is responsible for promoting W: www.ssm.com.my/
E: investmalaysia@mida.gov.my the progress and development of
W: www.mida.gov.my/ industries by providing financial CCM acts as an agency to incorporate
products and services. companies and register businesses as
MIDA controls the promotion well as provide the public with company
and coordination of all industrial Department of Occupational and business information. All companies
activities. MIDA provides assistance Safety & Health (DOSH) intending to do business in Malaysia are
to companies intending to invest (Jabatan Keselamatan dan required to register with the CCM.
in the manufacturing and services Kesihatan Pekerjaan)
sectors as well as facilitates the Level 1, 3, 4 & 5 Block D4, Complex D, Securities Commission
implementation and operation of the Federal Government Administrative (Suruhanjaya Sekuriti)
projects MIDA provides services which Centre, 62530 Putrajaya No 3, Persiaran Bukit Kiara,
include providing information on the Bukit Kiara
opportunities for investments as well T: +60 (3) 8000 8000 50490 Kuala Lumpur
as facilitating companies which are F: +60 (3) 8889 2443
looking for joint venture partners. E: jkkp@mohr.gov.my T: +60 (3) 6204 8777
MIDA also evaluates applications for W: www.dosh.gov.my/ F: +60 (3) 6201 5078
manufacturing licenses, tax incentives, E: cau@seccom.com.my
expatriate posts and duty exemptions This department, under the Ministry W: www.sc.com.my/
on raw materials, components, of Human Resources, is responsible for
machinery and equipment for projects administering and enforcing various This statutory body is entrusted
in manufacturing and its related occupational safety and health rules with the responsibility of regulating
services. MIDA has established a to ensure that the safety, health and and systematically developing the
one-stop Business Information Centre welfare of the people at work are Malaysia’s capital markets. It has
(BIC) on the 2nd floor of the MIDA protected from hazards resulting from direct responsibility in supervising and
Sentral building where information occupational activities in the various monitoring the activities of market
on investment, trade, financing sectors. DOSH also certifies safety institutions and regulating all persons
and productivity in Malaysia’s of machinery and factory premises. licensed under the Capital Markets and
manufacturing and its related services Approval from this department Services Act 2007. Its activities include
sectors are available. MIDA also has is required before manufacturing approving corporate bond issues,
offices in Bangkok, Boston, Chicago, operations can begin. regulating the issuance of securities,
Dubai, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, futures contracts, and all matters relating
Houston, Johannesburg, London, Los to unit trusts and takeover and mergers.
Angeles, Milan, Mumbai, Munich, New
York, Paris, Osaka, San Jose, Seoul,
Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm,
Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo.

PwC / 95
SC also acts as a registering authority Ministry of Human Resources Multimedia Development
for company’s prospectus, supervises (Kementerian Sumber Manusia) Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDeC)
exchanges, clearing houses and central Block D3 & D4, Complex D, MSC Malaysia Headquarters,
depositories as well as to ensure 62502, Putrajaya 2360 Persiaran APEC,
proper conduct of market institutions 63000 Cyberjaya,
and licensed persons. T: +60 (3) 8000 8000 Selangor Darul Ehsan
E: akpukk@mohr.gov.my
Inland Revenue Board W: www.mohr.gov.my/ T: +60 (3) 8315 3000
(Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri) F: +60 (3) 8315 3115
Menara Hasil, Persiaran Rimba The Labour Department of this E: clic@mdec.com.my
Permai, Cyber 8, ministry is responsible for the W: www.mdec.my/
63000 Cyberjaya Selangor enforcement of the Employment Act
1955. The MDeC is the agency responsible
T: +60 (3) 8313 8888 for implementing the MSC
F: +60 (3) 8313 7801/7806 Labuan Financial Services (Multimedia Super Corridor)
W: www.hasil.gov.my Authority (Labuan FSA) Malaysia. It also serves as promoter
Level 17, Main Office Tower, and facilitator to companies setting up
The Board is responsible for the Financial Park Complex, operations in MSC Malaysia.
overall administration, assessment Jalan Merdeka,
and collection of income tax and other 87000 Labuan, Malaysia Talent Corporation Malaysia
direct taxes. Level 6, Surian Tower
T: +60 (87) 591 200 1, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara
Royal Malaysian Customs F: +60 (87) 453 442 47810 Petaling Jaya
(Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia) E: communication@labuanfsa.gov.my Selangor
Kompleks Kementerian W: www.labuanibfc.com/about/2-2/
Kewangan No 3, the-regulator.html T: +60 (3) 7839 7000
Persiaran Perdana, W: www.talentcorp.com.my
Presint 2, This authority was established as
62596, Putrajaya the statutory body responsible for TalentCorp was established on
spearheading and coordinating efforts 1 January 2011 under the Prime
T: +60 (3) 8882 2100/2300 to promote and develop Labuan as Minister’s Department to formulate
E: ccc@customs.gov.my an International Business & Financial and facilitate initiatives to address
W: www.customs.gov.my/ Centre (IBFC) and to streamline the availability of talent in line with
and rationalize the administrative the needs of the country’s economic
This department is principally a machinery in supervising the Labuan transformation.
revenue-collecting department that is IBFC.
responsible for the administration and
enforcement of regulations relating to
customs and excise duties, sales tax,
service tax and the goods and services


Investment corridors
and agencies

Greater Kuala Lumpur (GKL) Northern Corridor Economic Region Sarawak Corridor of Renewable
InvestKL (NCER) Energy (SCORE)
16th Floor, Menara SSM@Sentral, Northern Corridor Implementation Regional Corridor Development
No. 7, Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, Authority (NCIR) Authority (RECODA)
Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Level 20 & 21, Menara KWSP, No. 6th Floor,
50623 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 38 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 Wisma Bapa Malaysia,
George Town, Pulau Pinang Petra Jaya,
T: +60 (3) 2260 2270 93050 Kuching Sarawak
F: +60 (3) 2260 2292 T: + 60 (4) 238 2888
E: info@investkl.gov.my F: + 60 (4) 238 2998 T: +60 (82) 444 851/ 852
W: www.investkl.com W: www.recoda.com.my
East Coast Economic Region (ECER)
Iskandar Malaysia Iskandar Regional East Coast Economic Region Sabah Development Corridor (SDC)
Iskandar Regional Development Development Council (ECERDC) Sabah Economic Development and
Authority (IRDA) Kuala Lumpur Office Investment Authority (SEDIA)
#G-01, Block 8 Level 22, Menara 3 PETRONAS Lot 1, Wisma SEDIA,
Danga Bay, Jalan Skudai Kuala Lumpur City Centre Off Jalan Pintas-Penampang
80200 Johor Bahru 50088 Kuala Lumpur P.O.Box 17251
88873 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,
T: +60 (7) 233 3000 T: +60 (3) 2035 0021 / 22
F: +60 (7) 233 3001 F: +60 (3) 2035 0020 T: +60 (8) 8 450650
E: enquiries@irda.com.my E: secretariat@ecerdc.com.my F: +60 (8) 8 450699
W: www.iskandarmalaysia.com.my W: www.ecerdc.com.my W: www.sedia.com.my

Malaysia Petroleum Resources

Corporation (MPRC)
Unit 20-11, Level 20, G-Tower,
199 Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur

T: +60 (3) 2858 8555

W: www.mprc.gov.my

PwC / 97
State Economic Development Corporations
State Economic Department Corporations are responsible for carrying out
economic activities at the state level and developing the economy of the states
in accordance with the objectives of the New Economic Policy.

Johor Kelantan Negeri Sembilan

Johor Corporation Kelantan State Economic Development Negeri Sembilan State Development
Level 11, Menara KOMTAR, Corporation Corporation
Johor Bahru City Centre, (Perbadanan Kemajuan Iktisad Negeri (Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri,
80000, Johor Bahru, Kelantan) Negeri Sembilan) Peti Surat 158, Jalan
Johor, Malaysia Tingkat 4-11, Bangunan PKINK, Yam Tuan, 70710 Seremban, Negeri
Jalan Tengku Maharani, Sembilan Darul Khusus, Malaysia
T: +60 (7) 219 2692 15710 Kota Bharu,
F: +60 (7) 223 3175/224 2692 Kelantan T: +60 (6) 762 3251
E: pdnjohor@jcorp.com.my F: +60 (6) 763 7924
W: www.jcorp.com.my/ T: +60 (9) 741 4141 E: pknns@ns.gov.my
F: +60 (9) 741 4140 W: www.pknns.gov.my
Kedah E: pkink@pkink.gov.my
Kedah State Development Corporation W: www.pkink.gov.my/ Pahang
(STDC) Pahang State Development
(Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Kedah) Melaka (Malacca) Corporation
14th Floor, Wisma PKNK, Melaka State Development (Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri
Jalan Sultan Badlishah, Corporation Pahang)
05000 Alor Setar, (Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri 16th Floor, Kompleks Teruntum,
Kedah Darul Aman Melaka) 25000 Kuantan, Pahang
Aras 4-11, Menara MITC, Jalan
T: +60 (4) 775 2455 Konvensyen, Kompleks MITC, Ayer T: +60 (9) 565 8588
F: +60 (4) 731 2957 Keroh, 75450 Melaka F: +60 (9) 513 0510
E: aduan@pknk.gov.my E: webmaster@pknp.gov.my
W: www.pknk.gov.my/ T: +60 (6) 232 4455 W: www.pknp.gov.my
F: +60 (6) 232 4434
E: info@pknm.gov.my
W: www.pknm.gov.my/en/


Perak Pulau Pinang (Penang) Selangor
Perak State Development Corporation Penang Development Corporation Selangor State Development
(Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak) (Perbadanan Pembangunan Pulau Corporation (SSIC)
No. 1-A, Blok A, Menara PKNP, Pinang) (Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri
Jalan Meru Casuarina, Bangunan Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, Selangor)
Bandar Meru Raya, No 1, Persiaran Mahsuri, Ibu Pejabat, Laman PKNS,
30020 Ipoh, 11909 Bayan Lepas, No. 2, Jalan Indah 14/8,
Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia Pulau Pinang, Malaysia Seksyen 14,
40000 Shah Alam,
T: +60 (5) 501 9888 T: +60 (4) 634 0111 Selangor Darul Ehsan
F: +60 (5) 501 9999 F: +60 (4) 643 2405
E: info@pknpgroup.com.my E: enquiry@pdc.gov.my T: +60 (3) 5525 0300
W: www.pknp-perak.gov.my/ W: www.pdc.gov.my/ F: +60 (3) 5525 0040
E: general@pkns.gov.my
Perlis Sabah W: www.pkns.gov.my
Perlis State Economic Sabah Economic Development
Development Corporation Corporation (SEDCO) Terengganu
(Perbadanan Kemajuan Ekonomi (Perbadanan Pembangunan Ekonomi Terengganu State Economic
Negeri Perlis) Sabah) Development Corporation
No. 173-191, Taman Kemajuan, 8th, 9th & 10th Floor, Wisma SEDCO, (Perbadanan Memajukan Iktisad
Jalan Raja Syed Alwi, Lorong Wawasan Plaza, Off Coastal Negeri Terengganu)
01000 Kangar, Highway, 88823 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Tingkat 14, Menara PMINT,
Perlis, Malaysia Jalan Sultan Ismail,
T: +60 (88) 266 777 20200 Kuala Terengganu
T: +60 (4) 9761 088/037/616 F: +60 (88) 219 623
F: +60 (4) 976 2181 E: info@sedco.com.my T: +60 (9) 627 8000
E: webmaster@pkenps.gov.my W: www.sedco.com.my F: +60 (9) 623 3880
W: www.pkenps.gov.my/ E: admin@pmint.gov.my
Sarawak W: www.pmint.gov.my/
Sarawak Economic
Development Corporation
(Perbadanan Pembangunan Ekonomi
6th-11th Floor, Menara SEDC,
Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman,
93100, Kuching,

T: +60 (82) 416 777

F: +60 (82) 424 330
E: info@sedc.my
W: www.sedc.com.my/

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Chambers of commerce
The chambers of commerce are responsible for the promotion,
protection and advancement of all mercantile interests and all other
interests affecting merchants in Malaysia.

National Chamber of Commerce EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce Malay Chamber of Commerce

and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) and Industry (EMCCI) Malaysia (MCCM)
Level 3, West Wing, Address: Suite 10.01, Level 10, Menara (Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Malaysia
MENARA MATRADE, Atlan, 161B Jalan Ampang, 50450 (DPMM))
Jalan Khidmat Usaha, Off Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia No. 33 & 35, Jalan Medan Setia
50480, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1,Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara,
T: +60(3) 2162 6298 50490 Kuala Lumpur
T: +60 (3) 6204 9811 F: +60(3) 2162 6198
F: +60 (3) 6204 9711 E-mail: eumcci@eumcci.com T: +60 (3)2096 2233
E: enquiry@nccim.org.my W: www.eumcci.com/contact-us F: +60 (3)2096 2533
W: www.nccim.cmshosted.net/ W: www.dpmm.org.my
Japanese Chamber of Trade &
Malaysian International Chamber of Industry, Malaysia (JACTIM) The Associated Chinese Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (MICCI) Suite 6.01, 6th Floor, Commerce and Industry of Malaysia
C -08-08, Plaza Mont’ Kiara, 2 Jalan Millennium Office Block, Peti #4, (ACCCIM)
Kiara, Mont’ Kiara, 50480 Kuala 160, Jalan Bukit Bintang 55100 Kuala 6th Floor, Wisma Chinese Chamber,
Lumpur, Malaysia Lumpur, Malaysia 258, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
T: +60 (3) 6201 7708 T: +60(3) 2142 7106
F: +60 (3) 6201 7705 F: +60(3) 2142 0483 T: +60 (3) 4260 3090/3091/3092/
E: micci@micci.com E: jactim@jcci.com.my 3093/3094/3095
W: www.micci.com/ W: jactim.org.my F: +60 (3) 4260 3080
E: acccim@acccim.org.my
American Malaysian Chamber of Federation of Malaysian W: www.acccim.org.my/
Commerce (AMCHAM) Manufacturers (FMM)
Suite 6-1A, Level 6 Wisma FMM Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers
Menara CIMB No. 3 Persiaran Dagang, PJU 9, of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI)
Jalan Stesen Sentral 2 Bandar Sri Damansara, JKR 3190, Jalan Ledang,
KL Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, 52200 Kuala Lumpur Off Jalan Duta,
Malaysia 50480 Kuala Lumpur
T: +60(3) 6286 7200
T: +60 (3) 6201 7708 F: +60(3) 6274 1266/7288 T: +60 (3) 2011 0478
F: +60 (3) 6201 7705 E: webmaster@fmm.org.my F: +60 (3) 2011 0477
E: micci@micci.com W: www.fmm.org.my E: info@maicci.org.my
W: www.micci.com/ W: www.maicci.org.my/


The Sabah United Chinese Chambers
of Commerce (SUCC)
Gabungan Dewan Perniagaan
Tionghua Sabah
Lot A, 9th Floor,
Wisma Pendidikan,
Jalan Padang Merdeka,
88000 Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah, Malaysia

T: +60 (88) 225 460/255 471

F: +60 (88) 218 185
E: succc01@gmail.com
W: www.succc.org

Sarawak Chamber of Commerce &

Industry (SCCI)
L3-12, 3rd Floor, DUBS
Commercial Centre, Lot 376, Section
54, KTLD, Jalan Petanak,
93100 Kuching

T: +60 (82) 237 148

F: +60 (82) 237 186
E: admin@scci.org.my
W: www.scci.org.my

PwC / 101

an investment


Structuring an investment

Incorporation Advantages of incorporating Formation requirements

• Limited liability. • Practising company/ qualified
Foreign ownership of shares – • Relatively low corporate tax rate. secretaries, public accountants or lawyers
equity conditions who are registered with the Companies
To be a developed nation by 28 % - YA 1998 to 2006 Commission of Malaysia (CCM) can
2020, the Malaysian government 27% - YA 2007 provide assistance with the incorporation
is adopting a holistic approach 26% - YA 2008 and other requirements.
to implement a new economic 25% - YA 2009 • Incorporation must be submitted to the
model (NEM) that will foster 24% - YA 2016 and subsequent CCM through an online portal.
competition in all sectors of the years • Registration fee is payable, depending on
economy. Malaysia’s NEM is a the type of company incorporated.
significant departure from the Small and medium scale companies • With the deregulation of the FIC
previous approach on Bumiputra with paid-up capital not exceeding guidelines announced by the Prime
equity participation. There have RM2.5 million are subject to income Minister on 30 June 2009, the FIC no
been measures taken to open up tax at the rate of 18% on chargeable longer processes any share transactions
the Malaysian capital market. income up to RM500,000. The or impose any equity conditions on such
Please refer to Chapter 1 (“Foreign remaining chargeable income will transactions.
Investment”) for more details of continue to be taxed at 24%.
these measures. Taxation
• Benefits from tax treaties. • Tax incentives are generally available.
Founder shareholders • Better public image. • Payment of dividends is restricted by
• Only one founder shareholder • Preferred by authorities availability of profits and solvency
is required, individual or body for compliance with equity requirements to be fulfilled. Malaysia has
corporate, who need not be ownership. moved fully into a single-tier dividend
Malaysian. system from 1 January 2014 under which
• One resident director is required, Availability of local funding dividends are fully exempt in the hands
who need not be Malaysian but • Funds may be obtained from the of shareholders and payment of dividend
must have valid work permits and domestic capital market through are not dependent on the availability of
a principal residential address a public issue for a public listed franking credits.
within Malaysia. company. • Professional advice should be sought on
• Working capital requirements tax planning opportunities.
from local financial institutions.

PwC / 103
Branch Sole proprietorship or partnership • The partners need not be resident
(excluding limited liability in Malaysia, however there is
Limitations on foreign participation partnership) requirement for the compliance
• In general, CCM do allow the officer* to be either a partner or a
registration of foreign branches except Limitation on foreign participation person qualified to act as secretaries
for establishments involved in the • Foreign nationals require valid work under the Companies Act 2016 and
wholesale and retail trade. permits to work in Malaysia. ordinarily reside in Malaysia.
• Foreign nationals are generally
Advantages not permitted to set up sole- Advantages of a LLP
• Cessation of business is more proprietorships or partnership • Limited liability status for
straightforward than liquidation of a businesses, except for carrying out partnership type of business.
company. government or other approved • Provides flexibility of organization
• Capital and profits can be freely projects. arrangement through a partnership
repatriated. However for amounts agreement.
exceeding RM200,000 or its Advantages • Compliance requirements are less
equivalent in foreign currency, Form • Minimal regulatory requirements to onerous than a company.
P has to be completed by remitting comply. • The accounts of a LLP need not be
banks, on behalf of their clients. audited unless it is a condition in
Disadvantages the LLP agreement.
Formation and registration • Sole proprietors and partners are • More affordable business vehicle.
requirements personally liable for the liabilities of
• Resident agent and registered office in the business. Formation requirements
Malaysia is required. • Practising company / qualified
• Non-refundable registration fee is Formation requirements secretaries, public accountants or
payable depending on the amount • Registration as a business with the lawyers can provide assistance with
of share capital of the foreign CCM. the partnership agreement and
corporation which will be converted • Partnership agreement. other requirements.
to the equivalent of local currency to • The partnership agreement and
determine the registration fee. Taxation other relevant documents must be
• A maximum registration fee of • Sole proprietors are taxed as submitted to the CCM along with
RM70,000 is payable by a foreign individuals. payment of the required fees.
company • Partnerships are treated as
• Documentation of the foreign conduits, with partners taxed on Taxation
company in the country of origin their shares of the income. • A LLP is taxed as a company
similar to those for a locally • Tax rate is at flat rate of 24%
incorporated company must be filed Limited liability partnership (LLP) • Professional advice should
annually. be obtained on tax-planning
Founder partners opportunities.
Taxation • Minimum of two partners with
• Foreign (non-resident) corporations no limit to maximum number of
have the same obligations and rights partners. The partners can be * The LLP requires the appointment of at least one
compliance officer whose main responsibilities
as resident companies. individuals (natural persons) or
include registering changes in registered particulars
• Tax rate is at a flat rate of 24%. bodies corporate or a combination of the LLP and keeping and maintaining the records
• Professional advice should be obtained of both. of the LLP.
on tax planning opportunities.


PwC / 105

Some regulatory


Some regulatory agencies

The following are some of the • Malaysia Productivity Ministry of Domestic Trade,
important regulatory agencies: Corporation (MPC): Co-operatives and Consumerism
MPC’s mission hinges on its efforts (MDTCC)
Ministry of International Trade and to enhance productivity and
Industry (MITI): quality in line with the national This ministry is responsible for
industrialization plan by providing supervising domestic trade and
This ministry has overall responsibility training, promotion, consultancy formulates policies and implements
for all aspects of international trade and research services. measures aimed at encouraging fair
and industrial development, acting • Malaysian Industrial ethical domestic trade practices and
through the following agencies: Development Finance Berhad protecting the interests and rights of
(MIDF): consumers. Its functions also include
• Malaysian Investment Established to speed up industrial the following:
Development Authority (MIDA): development in Malaysia and acts • Licensing and controlling the
Main government agency that as a conduit for the government to manufacturing and sale of items of
provides assistance for investors manage funds under the various necessity;
intending to set up manufacturing government schemes. • Licensing and monitoring direct
and its related support services • Small and Medium Enterprise selling activities;
projects in Malaysia. Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp • Licensing and monitoring
• Malaysia External Trade Malaysia): marketing of petroleum products
Development Corporation Set up to promote further the as well as formulating guidelines
(MATRADE): development of small and medium- relating to petroleum safety in
An external trade arm of MITI, size industries (SMIs) through petroleum, petrochemical and gas
functions as a central source for the provision of advisory services, industry; and
trade related information for fiscal and financial assistance, • Drafting and conducting research
Malaysian exporters and foreign infrastructural facilities, market on policies and strategies related
importers. access, and other support programs. to domestic trade development,
consumerism and intellectual

PwC / 107
Companies Commission Ministry of Communication and Securities Commission Malaysia
of Malaysia (CCM) Multimedia Malaysia
The statutory body is responsible for
All companies, partnerships and sole The ministry is primarily responsible regulating and developing the capital
proprietors intending to do business for communications, multimedia, markets in Malaysia. This include
in Malaysia are required to register broadcasting, and personal data supervision of exchanges, listed
with the CCM, which is responsible protection. It also oversees the media companies, bond issuers, take over and
for the administration of the industry, film industry, domain name, mergers, and fund managers.
Registration of Businesses Act 1956 postal, courier, mobile service, fixed
and the Companies Act 2016. line service and broadband services. Local government authorities

Immigration Department The regulation of the communication These authorities are responsible
and multimedia sector is undertaken for local regulations that affect
This department processes by the Malaysian Communications and business operations. Such laws relate
applications of work permits for Multimedia Commission (MCMC). mainly to buildings and structures
new or additional expatriate posts, (business premises), health, public
renewal of existing expatriate posts Ministry of Natural Resources and safety and security, sale of liquor, and
and conversion of social/tourist Environment displays (signboards, advertisements,
passes into business passes. billboards, etc.).
The ministry is responsible for the
Ministry of Science, natural resources management, Various other government agencies
Technology and Innovation environmental conservation and land regulate specific industries. In addition
management and administration. to incorporating a company, specific
This ministry has responsibility for licensing requirements apply to
promoting awareness, research The Department of Environment companies that may wish to undertake
and development in science and (DOE) of Malaysia under the ministry specialized activities, e.g., finance
technology. is responsible for the prevention, and banking, insurance, real estate,
control and abatement of pollution in petroleum, and utilities.
Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co- the country.
operative and Consumerism
Bank Negara Malaysia
This ministry formulates policies,
strategies and reviews matters The central bank of Malaysia regulates
pertaining to domestic trade. the country’s financial institutions and
The scope of the ministry covers credit system as well as the conduct
wholesalers and retailers, co- of monetary policy. This include
operatives, franchise, direct-selling, supervising the banking industry,
hawkers and petty traders as well as insurance industry, payment systems
downstream sectors of petroleum. and foreign exchange market.


PwC / 109

conditions of


Paid Leave under Employment Act 1955

The Employment Act 1955 is the main

legislation on labour matters in Malaysia.

Paid annual leave for employees

Paid 60 days Less than two years of service 8 days
maternity Two or more but less than 5 years of service 12 days
Over five years of service 16 days
Normal Not exceeding eight
work hours in one day or 48
hours: hours in one week Paid sick leave per calendar year

Paid At least 11 gazetted Less than two years of service 14 days

holiday: public holidays (inclusive Two or more but less than five years of service 18 days
of five compulsory
Over five years of service 22 days
public holidays; National
Day, Birthday of the Where hospitalization is necessary up to 60 days
Yang Dipertuan Agong,
Birthday of Ruler, Payment for overtime work
Federal Territory Day,
Normal working days: One-and-a-half
Labour day and Malaysia
times the hourly
day) in one calendar year
rate of pay
and on any day declared
as a public holiday under Rest days: Two times the
section 8 of the Holiday hourly rate of pay
Act 1951 Public holidays: Three times the
hourly rate of pay

Source: Cost of Doing Business, MIDA website: www.mida.gov.my

PwC / 111



Business taxation
Rate of withholding tax %
Treaty countries Interest Royalties Technical Fees

Albania 10 or Nil 10 10
Australia 15 or Nil 10 or Nil Nil
Austria 15 or Nil 10 10
Bahrain 5 or Nil 8 10
Bangladesh 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Belgium 10, 15 or Nil 10 10
Bosnia & Herzegovina 10 or Nil 8 10
Brunei 10 or Nil 10 10
Canada 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
China, People’s Republic 10 or Nil 10 10
Chile 15 10 5
Croatia 10 or Nil 10 10
Czech Republic 12 or Nil 10 10
Denmark 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Egypt 15 or Nil 10 10
Fiji 15 or Nil 10 10
Finland 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
France 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Germany 10 or Nil 7 7
Hong Kong 10 or Nil 8 5
Hungary 15 or Nil 10 10
India 10 or Nil 10 10
Indonesia 10 or Nil 10 10
Iran 15 or Nil 10 10

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Rate of withholding tax %
Treaty countries Interest Royalties Technical Fees

Ireland 10 or Nil 8 10
Italy 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Japan 10 or Nil 10 10
Jordan 15 or Nil 10 10
Kazakhstan 10 or Nil 10 10
Korea Republic 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Kyrgyz Republic 10 or Nil 10 10
Kuwait 10 or Nil 10 10
Laos 10 or Nil 10 10
Lebanese Republic 10 or Nil 8 10
Luxembourg 10 or Nil 8 8
Malta 15 or Nil 10 10
Mauritius 15 or Nil 10 10
Morocco 10 or Nil 10 10
Mongolia 10 or Nil 10 10
Myanmar 10 or Nil 10 10
Namibia 10 or Nil 5 5
Netherlands 10 or Nil 8 or Nil 8
New Zealand 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Norway 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Pakistan 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Papua New Guinea 15 or Nil 10 10
Philippines 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Poland 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Poland (new)* 10 or Nil 8 8
Qatar 5 or Nil 8 8
Romania 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Russian Federation 15 or Nil 10 10
San Marino 10 or Nil 10 10
Saudi Arabia (full agreement) 5 or Nil 8 8
Senegal* 10 or Nil 10 10
Seychelles Republic 10 or Nil 10 10


Rate of withholding tax %
Treaty countries Interest Royalties Technical Fees

Singapore 10 or Nil 8 5
Slovakia 10 or Nil 10 5
Sri Lanka 10 or Nil 10 10
South Africa 10 or Nil 5 5
Spain 10 or Nil 7 5
Sudan 10 or Nil 10 10
Sweden 10 or Nil 8 8
Switzerland 10 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Syria 10 or Nil 10 10
Thailand 15 or Nil 10 or Nil 10
Turkey 15 or Nil 10 10
Turkmenistan 10 or Nil 10 Nil
United Arab Emirates 5 or Nil 10 10
United Kingdom 10 or Nil 8 8
Uzbekistan 10 or Nil 10 10
Venezuela 15 or Nil 10 10
Vietnam 10 or Nil 10 10
Zimbabwe * 10 or Nil 10 10

* Pending ratification

There is no withholding tax on dividends paid by Malaysian companies.

There is a restricted double tax treaty with Argentina and with the United States of America which deals
with the taxation of air and sea transport operations in international traffic.

PwC / 115

Rates of
personal tax


Rates of Personal Tax
Resident individuals
Chargeable Income YA 2016 Rate % Tax Payable RM
On the first 5,000 0
On the next 15,000 1 150
On the first 20,000 150
On the next 15,000 5 750
On the first 35,000 900
On the next 15,000 10 1,500
On the first 50,000 2,400
On the next 20,000 16 3,200
On the first 70,000 5,600
On the next 30,000 21 6,300
On the first 100,000 11,900
On the next 150,000 24 36,000
On the first 250,000 47,900
On the next 150,000 24.5 36,750
On the first 400,000 84,650
On the next 200,000 25 50,000
On the first 600,000 134,650
On the next 400,000 26 104,000
On the first 1,000,000 238,650
Above 1,000,000 28

PwC / 117
Chargeable Income YA 2017 Rate % Tax Payable RM
On the first 5,000 0
On the next 15,000 1 150
On the first 20,000 150
On the next 15,000 5 750
On the first 35,000 900
On the next 15,000 10 1,500
On the first 50,000 2,400
On the next 20,000 16 3,200
On the first 70,000 5,600
On the next 30,000 21 6,300
On the first 100,000 11,900
On the next 150,000 24 36,000
On the first 250,000 47,900
On the next 150,000 24.5 36,750
On the first 400,000 84,650
On the next 200,000 25 50,000
On the first 600,000 134,650
On the next 400,000 26 104,000
On the first 1,000,000 238,650
Above 1,000,000 28

Non-resident individuals Knowledge workers in a

specified region
Types of income Rate % A qualified person (defined by legislation)
Public Entertainer’s professional income 15 who is a knowledge worker residing in
Interest 15 Iskandar Malaysia is taxed at the rate
of 15% on income from an employment
Royalty 10
with a designated company engaged in a
Special classes of income: qualified activity in that specified region.
• rental of moveable property 10 The employment must have commenced
• technical or management services fees 10 on or after 24 October 2009 but not later
• payment for services rendered in connection with use of 10 than 31 December 2020.
property or installation or operation of any plant, machinery
or other apparatus purchased from a non-resident person Approved individuals under the
Dividends (single tier) Exempt Returning Expert Programme
An approved individual under the
Business and employment income 28**
Returning Expert Programme who is a
Income other than the above 10 resident is taxed at the rate of 15% on
income in respect of having or exercising
** Increased to 28% w.e.f YA2016 (25% for YA 2015)
employment with a person in Malaysia for
5 consecutive years of assessment. This
applies to Malaysian citizens only.


PwC / 119

Valuation of
perquisites and
benefits-in-kind from


Valuation of perquisites and
benefits-in-kind from employment

Valuation of perquisites
The IRB has issued Public Ruling 2/2013 for the valuation of perquisites from an
employment. Below are some common perquisites:

Perquisites to employee Taxable value to employee

Petrol card/petrol or travel allowances Total amount paid by employer.
and toll rates Exemption available up to RM6,000 per annum if the
allowances/perquisites are for official duties**
Childcare subsidies /allowances Total amount paid by employer.
Exemption available up to RM2,400 per annum**
Parking fees/allowances Fully exempted**
Meal allowances Fully exempted**
Interest on loan subsidies Loans totalling RM300,000 for housing/passenger motor
vehicles and education**
Income tax borne by employer Total amount paid by employer
Award Total amount paid by employer. Exemption available up
to RM2,000 per annum for the following types of award:**
• long service (more than 10 years of employment with
the same employer)
• past achievement
• service excellence, innovation, or productivity award

** Exemptions are not extended to directors of controlled companies, sole proprietors and partnerships.

PwC / 121
Valuation of benefits-in-kind (BIK) Formula method
The IRB has issued Public Ruling The value of BIK is calculated based on the following prescribed formula.
3/2013 for the valuation of BIK
provided to employees. Cost of asset provided as a benefit Annual value
Prescribed average life span of asset of benefit
There are two methods which can
be used to determine the value of The prescribed average life span of certain common assets is as follows.
BIK provided to the employee by the
employer: Items Prescribed average
life span (Years)
• The formula method; and
• The prescribed value method Motorcar 8
Whichever method is used in • Air conditioner 8
determining the value of the benefit
• Curtains & carpets 5
provided, the basis of computing the
benefit (whether the formula method • Furniture 15
or the prescribed value method) must • Refrigerator 10
be consistently applied throughout the • Sewing machine 15
period of the provision of the benefit. Kitchen utensils/equipment 6
Entertainment and recreation:

• Organ 10
• Piano 20
• Stereo set, TV, video recorder, CD/DVD player 7
• Swimming pool (detachable), sauna 15
• Miscellaneous 5

Prescribed value method

Under the prescribed value method the following are some values of BIK prescribed
in the Ruling:
Value per year
Household furnishings, apparatus & appliances
• Semi-furnished with furniture in the lounge, dining RM840
room and bedroom
• Semi-furnished as above and with air-conditioners RM1,680
or carpets or curtains
• Fully furnished RM3,360
• Service charges and other bills (e.g. water, Charges and bills paid by
electricity) employer
Prescribed value of other benefits
• Driver RM7,200 per driver
• Domestic servants RM4,800 per servant
• Gardeners RM3,600 per gardener
• Corporate recreational club membership Membership subscription
paid by employer


The following are some exemptions for certain BIK:**
• Leave passages (i) one overseas leave passage up to a
maximum of RM3,000 for fares only; or
(ii) 3 local leave passages including fares, meals
and accommodation
• Employers’ goods provided free or at a discount Exemption is available up to RM1,000 per
annum. Any benefit exceeding RM1,000 will be
subject to tax
• Employers’ own services provided full or at a Fully exempted
• Maternity expenses & traditional medicines Fully exempted
• Telephone (including mobile telephone), Fully exempted, limited to one unit for each
telephone bills, pager, personal data assistant asset
(PDA) and broadband subscription
** Exemptions are not extended to directors of controlled companies, sole proprietors and partnerships.

Standard rates for motorcar and fuel provided

Cost of car (when new) Annual prescribed benefit of Annual prescribed benefit of
(RM) motorcar (RM) fuel* (RM)
Up to 50,000 1,200 600
50,001 – 75,000 2,400 900
75,001 – 100,000 3,600 1,200
100,001 –150,000 5,000 1,500
150,001 – 200,000 7,000 1,800
200,001– 250,000 9,000 2,100
250,001 – 350,000 15,000 2,400
350,001 – 500,000 21,250 2,700
500,001 and above 25,000 3,000
* Employee is given a choice to determine fuel benefit based on annual prescribed rates or exemption available for petrol usage.

PwC / 123



Personal reliefs
(for resident individuals)

Relief for YA 2016 (RM)

Self 9,000
Disabled individual - additional relief for self 6,000
Spouse 4,000
Disabled spouse - additional spouse relief 3,500
• per child (below 18 years old) 2,000
• per child (over 18 years old) receiving full-time instruction of higher education in respect of:
diploma level and above in Malaysia 8,000
degree level and above outside Malaysia 8,000
• per child (over 18 years old) serving under articles of indentures in a trade or profession 8,000
• Per physically / mentally disabled child 6,000
• Physically / mentally disabled child (over 18 years of age) receiving full-time instruction in an institution of 14,000
higher education or serving under articles of indentures in a trade or profession
Life insurance premiums and EPF contributions 6,000*
Private Retirement Scheme contributions
Deferred annuity scheme premium (YA 2012 to YA 2021)
Insurance premiums for education or medical benefits 3,000*
Expenses on medical treatment, special needs or career expenses for parents (evidenced by medical 5,000*
certification); OR
Parental care relief:
- Father 1,500*
- Mother 1,500*
(until YA 2020)
Medical expenses for self, spouse or child suffering from a serious disease (including fees of up to RM500 6,000
incurred by self, spouse or child for complete medical examination)

* Maximum relief
** With effect from YA 2017

PwC / 125
Relief for YA 2016 (RM)
Purchase of sports equipment 300*
Fee expended for any course of study up to tertiary level other than a degree at Masters or Doctorate level, 7,000*
undertaken for the purpose of acquiring law, accounting, Islamic financing, technical, vocational, industrial,
scientific or technological skills or qualifications or any course of study for a degree at Masters or Doctorate
level undertaken for the purpose of acquiring any skill or qualification
Purchase of supporting equipment for self (if a disabled person) or for disabled spouse, child or parent 6,000*
Cost incurred for the purchase of books, journals, magazines and other similar publications for the purpose of 1,000*
enhancing knowledge 0**
Purchase of personal computer (once every 3 years) 3,000*
Deposit for child into the Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional account established under Perbadanan Tabung 6,000*
Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional Act 1997 (until YA 2017)
Relief on housing loan interest for the purchase of one unit residential property where the Sale and Purchase 10,000*
Agreement is executed between 10 March 2009 and 31 December 2010 (given for 3 consecutive years)
Employee’s contribution to Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) 250*
Lifestyle relief consolidated with the following: 2,500**
• Purchase of books, journals, magazines, printed newspaper and other similar publications for the purpose of
enhancing knowledge
• Purchase of personal computer, smartphone or tablet
• Purchase of sports equipment and gym memberships, and
• Internet subscription
Purchase of breastfeeding equipment 1,000*
Fees paid to childcare centre and kindergarten 1,000*

* Maximum relief
** With effect from YA 2017


PwC / 127
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