Malaysia

Individual - Tax administration

Last reviewed - 01 July 2020

Taxable period

The Malaysian tax year is the calendar year (i.e. 1 January to 31 December).

Tax returns

Separate returns are issued to husband and wife and filed separately by each spouse. The income of a wife who is living with her husband is assessed separately from that of the husband. However, a wife who is a resident or a Malaysian citizen can elect to be taxed jointly with her husband. A husband who has no income may also elect to be assessed jointly with his wife under the wife’s name.

Self-assessment for individuals

Malaysia adopts the self-assessment system where the taxpayer is responsible for computing one’s own chargeable income and tax payable, as well as making payments of any balance of tax due. The amount of tax payable for the year must be self-computed, and the tax return is deemed to be a notice of assessment upon its submission. The tax return is submitted not later than 30 April (without business income) and 30 June (with business income) in the following calendar year.

E-filing or online filing of tax returns via the Internet is available for those who wish to file their returns using this method. Those who have chosen to file their returns for a year of assessment by way of E-filing will not be issued a tax return form for subsequent years.

Individuals whose total income tax is equivalent to the amount deducted under the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system can elect not to submit a tax return, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled.

Payment of tax

Tax payments by employees are collected through compulsory deductions from salary. All deductions are made on a PAYE basis. If tax deemed assessed on an individual upon the submission of one’s return exceeds the total amount deducted from the individual’s salary, the difference must be paid on or before the submission date. Tax for a year of assessment is due and payable on the following dates in the year following that year of assessment:

  • 30 April for individuals deriving non-business income, and
  • 30 June for those having business income.