The first economic stimulus package sought to alleviate the pandemic’s immediate impact upon the tourism industry. Incentives for the tourism industry include:

  • Double tax deduction on expenditure incurred on training courses for employees
  • 6-month deferral on the payment of monthly income tax instalments
  • 6-month exemption of the hospitality industry from Human Resource Development Fund levies for hotels and travel related companies commencing March 2020

Incentives for the logistics industry include:

  • Port operators were granted import duty and sales tax exemptions on equipment and machinery used directly in port operations for 1 year commencing April 2020
  • International shipping companies operating in Malaysia may apply for a double tax deduction on expenditure incurred, prior to the commencement of operations, to establish a regional office in Malaysia. The application must be made by 31 December 2021

The postponement of monthly tax instalment payments for businesses in the tourism sector is a welcomed move as this relieves cashflow constraints faced by these companies. We expect the authorities to provide details on the postponement of monthly tax instalment payments. It is unclear at this stage whether the revision of tax estimates refers to the tax estimate for the financial year 2020 or for the period from April to September 2020.

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