Are you a foreigner in Malaysia making a good income? Want to do your duty and contribute some tax, but don’t know how? Find out below!
It’s coming to that time of the year – we don’t mean New Year’s, we mean the first quarter of the year when we have to declare our income taxes. Yay!
Malaysia adopts a rather parochial and simplistic approach to income tax. As a general rule, anyone earning a salary in Malaysia is required to pay income tax unless they fall into one of a handful of exceptions.
Essentially, foreigners working in Malaysia are divided into two categories:
Resident – stays in Malaysia for more than 182 days in a calendar year.
Non-resident – stays in Malaysia for less than 182 days and is employed for at least 60 days in a calendar year.
Foreigners who qualify as tax-residents follow the same tax guidelines (ourr wonderfully progressive tax rate and relief) as Malaysians and are required to file income tax under Form B (known locally as Borang B).
Below is the newest income tax structure and rates as of 2023:
Non-residents are taxed a flat rate based on their types of income.
Below are a list of income types that Malaysia taxes so far:
|Types Of Income||Rate (%)|
Business, trade or profession
28 (from year of assessment 2016)
30 (from year of assessment 2020)
Payments for services in connection with the use of property or installation, operation of any plant or machinery purchased from a non-resident
Payments for technical advice, assistance or services rendered in connection with technical management or administration of any scientific, industrial or commercial undertaking, venture, project or scheme
Rent or other payments for the use of any movable property
How to file your income tax
Non-residents filing for income tax can do so using the same method as residents. However, you will be required to use the Form M/MT (Borang M/MT) instead of the Form B/BE.
For ease of filing, you can use ezHasil to file your taxes online.
What tax exemption or deductions are foreigners entitled to?
For the most part, foreigners who are tax-residents are eligible for the same tax relief and deductions enjoyed by Malaysian citizens.
Find out more about tax exemptions, deductions and reliefs you can claim if you qualify as a tax-resident in this massively long list.
Is anyone exempt from Malaysian taxes?
Not every foreign national is taxed in Malaysia. The following is a list of those that are exempt from income tax:
- Foreign national employed on board a Malaysian ship
- Above the age of 55-years old and receiving pension from Malaysian employment
- Receiving interest from banks
- Receiving tax exempt dividends
Additionally, Malaysia also has Double Tax Avoidance agreements with countries that tax their citizens residing in foreign lands. If you are from one of these countries, then you are exempt from paying income tax to the Malaysian government.
Finally, only income that has its source in Malaysia is taxable. This exempts income that comes from overseas like rental of property or freelance work, and also remote working employees of companies that are not based in the country.
Note: While Budget 2022 had announced that foreign sourced income will be taxed, the government has decided to continue the tax exemption from the year of assessment 2022 until 2026.
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Credit: vStaff & iMoney.my