Individual - Deductions

Last reviewed - 01 July 2020

Employment expenses

Employees are allowed a deduction for any expenditure incurred wholly and exclusively in the performance of their duties, but no allowance is given for tax depreciation. Expenses of a private or domestic nature are expressly excluded from deduction; for example, the cost of hiring domestic servants to help in housekeeping while one is away at work is not deductible.

Subscriptions to associations related to the individual's profession are deductible.

Personal deductions

Non-business expenses, for example, domestic or household expenses and taxes, are not deductible.

Charitable contributions

Donations to approved institutions or organisations are deductible, subject to limits. 

Mortgage interest expenses

Mortgage interest incurred to finance the purchase of a house is deductible only if income is derived from the house.

Other personal deductions (reliefs)

Reliefs (YA 2020) Maximum (MYR)
Medical expenses:  
Parents, for medical treatment, special needs, and carer expenses. 5,000
Self, spouse, or child, for treatment of a serious disease, including medical examination fees subject to a limit of MYR 500 or expenses incurred on fertility treatment (with effect from YA 2020) 6,000
Disability-supporting equipment for the use of a disabled individual, spouse, child, or parent. 6,000
Approved pension/provident funds and insurance premiums:  
Pension/provident fund contributions by an individual. 4,000
Life insurance premiums for an individual and/or spouse's life. 3,000
Contributions made to Private Retirement Scheme and Deferred Annuity Scheme (from YA 2012 to YA 2021). 3,000
Premiums for insurance on education or for medical benefits incurred for the individual, spouse, or child. 3,000
Deposit under the National Education Savings Scheme (from YA 2012 to YA 2020). 8,000
Employee's contribution to SOCSO 250
Education fees for self:  

for a course of study in Malaysia up to tertiary level undertaken to acquire law, accountancy, Islamic financing, technical, vocational, industrial, scientific, or technological skills, or

for a degree at Masters or Doctorate level for purposes of acquiring any skill or qualification.

Lifestyle relief:
  • 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 membership, and
  • internet subscription
Purchase of breastfeeding equipment once every two years. 1,000
Fees paid to child care centre and kindergarten (for child(ren) below 6 years old). 3,000

Special Relief for domestic travelling expenses (until YA 2021):

  • Accommodation fees on a tourist accommodation premises registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia; and
  • Entrance fees to tourist attractions

The above are also available to a spouse who is separately assessed.

Personal reliefs

The following personal reliefs can also be deducted in arriving at chargeable income of the resident individual for YA 2020:

Reliefs (YA 2020) MYR
Self 9,000
Spouse (under joint assessment) 4,000
For each child:  
Below 18 years of age 2,000
Over 18 years of age who is receiving full-time instruction at an establishment of higher education in Malaysia (at diploma level and higher) or outside Malaysia (at degree level and above), or serving under article of indentures in a trade or profession, provided certain conditions are met. 8,000
Self (additional) 6,000
Spouse (additional) 3,500
For each physically or mentally handicapped child 6,000
Additional relief if that child is over 18 and receiving higher education or studying under articles or indentures in a trade or profession. 8,000

Parental care relief per parent for up to two parents (from YA 2016 to YA 2020), subject to the following conditions:

  • Parent is a Malaysian tax resident and at any time in that year aged sixty and above,
  • Parent whose annual income does not exceed RM24,000 for that year of assessment,
  • Taxpayer does not claim expenses on medical treatment and care of parents.

Note: Relief can be shared with other siblings (equally apportioned according to the number of individuals making the claim) but limited to RM1,500 in total per parent.


The above are also available to a spouse who is separately assessed.