Corporate - Significant developments

Last reviewed - 13 January 2020

Earnings stripping rules

Malaysia has introduced  earnings stripping rules which apply  from 1 July 2019. See the Group taxation section for more details.

E-commerce guidelines

The tax authorities have issued a new Guidelines on Taxation of Electronic Commerce Transactions dated 13 May 2019. The new guideline seeks to provide guidance on the tax treatment of e-commerce transactions, including the common e-commerce business models in existence. The guideline covers the scope of tax liability for e-commerce business income and e-commerce transactions that would be regarded as technical services or royalty. 

Withholding tax (WHT) on software for personal use

With effect from 1 March 2019, WHT is exempted on payments made to non-residents in relation to software purchased for personal use. This exemption applies to shrink-wrapped software, site-licences, downloadable software, and software bundled with personal computer hardware, smartphones, or tablets.

Revocation of WHT exemption for payments from MSC Malaysia companies

The WHT exemption provided to non-resident companies for income received from MSC Malaysia companies has been revoked with effect from 1 January 2020.  , Therefore with effect from the same date, the following income received by non-residents from MSC Malaysia companies will be subject to WHT:

  • fee for technical advice or technical services,
  • licensing fee in relation to technology development, and
  • interest on loans for technology development.