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Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021

Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021

Get back some of your moolah

Text: Natalie Khoo Rachel Au

Image: Amos Yip for BURO Malaysia

The deadline for e-filing your income tax form is on 15 May 2022, but before that, make sure you claim these tax reliefs and possibly get back some money

Income tax season is upon us. The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) or Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDN) has announced that e-Filing submissions for Income Tax Returns for the 2021 year of assessment (YA 2021) will start from March 1.

As long as you’ve earned an annual income of RM34,000 or more for the year 2021, there’s no escaping taxes. However, there are tax deductions, tax reliefs, and tax rebates that you can claim in order to reduce your aggregate income, chargeable income, and amount of tax charged.

For first-time taxpayers, you may register for an income tax reference number at the nearest IRBM branch or via e-Daftar.

Documents Required For Registration

  • A copy of your latest Salary Statement (EA/EC Form) or latest Salary Slip
  • A copy of your Identification card (IC) / police IC / army IC / international passport
  • A copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable)

To ease the burden of taxpayers brought about by the economic challenges of the pandemic, new tax reliefs and extensions of previous short-term ones have been imposed to help you maximise tax refunds.

Take note that the deadline for e-filing submissions of Form BE (for individuals with employment income only) is 15 May 2022. If you are an individual with business income or more than one source of income (one of which includes a business), then you will only need to submit Form B. The e-filing deadline for Form B is 15 July 2022.

With that, read on for the full list of tax reliefs you can claim for the year 2021:

Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021 (фото 1)

Individual: RM9,000

This will automatically be included as a tax relief for individuals.

Medical expenses for parents: ≤RM8,000

If you are paying for your parents' medical treatment, special needs and/or carer expenses, you're eligible to claim up to RM8,000. However, it has to be for a medical condition that requires specific treatments and can be certified by a medical practitioner.

Husband/Wife/Alimony: ≤RM4,000

For those with a spouse who has no source of income or doesn't earn a taxable income. This applies to husbands who pay an alimony* to their ex-wife as well.

*Note that you'll need formal agreements to prove this arrangement

Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021 (фото 2)

Education fees (self): RM7,000

Eligible if you are paying for your own course of study at a recognised institution in Malaysia that applies to either:

  • Masters or Doctorate: Any course 
  • Non-Masters or Doctorate: Courses in law, accounting, Islamic financing, technical, vocational, industrial, scientific or technology
  • [NEW] Any course of study taken for the purpose of upskilling or self-enhancement, conducted by a recognised body (restricted to RM1,000)

Medical Expenses: ≤RM8,000

  • For serious diseases* for self, spouse or child
  • Medical expenses for fertility treatment for self or spouse
  • Complete medical examination for self, spouse, child (restricted to RM1,000)
  • [NEW] Vaccination expenses for self, spouse, child (including Covid-19 vaccines and booster shots) (restricted to RM1,000)
  • [NEW] Covid-19 detection test and vaccination expenses for self, spouse, child (restricted to RM1,000)

*Examples of "serious diseases" include AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, leukaemia, heart attack, major organ transplant, etc.

Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021 (фото 3)

Lifestyle—for self, spouse or child: ≤RM2,500

This category applies to:

  • Books, journals, magazines, printed newspapers and other similar publications
  • Personal computer, smartphone or tablet
  • Payment of your monthly internet bill/subscription (under own name)
  • Gym memberships and purchase of sports equipment (for sports activity defined under the Sports Development Act 1997)

Lifestyle—tech: ≤RM2,500

If you purchased a computer, smartphone or tablet for yourself, a spouse or child—and they're not for business use—you'll be eligible for additional tax relief*.

*This was added to aid those who had to switch to WFH or online schooling during the pandemic.

Domestic travel expenses: ≤RM1,000

Don't forget to claim this tax relief if you've stayed at an accommodation registered with the Commissioner of Tourism OR paid entrance fee(s) to a tourist attraction.

This applies to expenses incurred from 1 March 2020 until 31 December 2021. 

[NEW] Additional tax relief for sports: RM500

  • Purchase of sport equipment for any sports activity as defined under the Sport Development Act 1997 (excluding motorised two-wheel bicycles)
  • Payment of rental or entrance fee to any sports facility
  • Payment of registration fee for any licensed sports competition where the organiser is approved and licensed by the Commissioner of Sports under the Sport Development Act 1997

Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021 (фото 4)

Breastfeeding equipment: ≤RM1,000

If you've purchased breastfeeding equipment for your child aged two years and below, you're eligible for this tax relief. However, this deduction is only allowed once in every two years of assessment.

Childcare fee: ≤RM3,000

This tax relief has been increased to a limit of RM3,000 for parents sending their kids to a childcare centre or kindergarten. This deduction can only be claimed by either the mother or father.

Child (Below 18 years old): RM2,000

Each unmarried child who is under the age of 18 years old. This can only be claimed by either the mother or father. 

Child (18 years old and above): RM2,000

Each unmarried child who is 18 years old and above, and who is receiving full-time education (A-Levels, certificate, matriculation or preparatory courses).

Child (18 years old and above): RM8,000

Each unmarried child who is 18 years old and above, and who is pursuing tertiary education:

  • A diploma or higher (excluding matriculation/ preparatory courses) in Malaysia
  • An undergraduate, Master’s, or Doctoral degree (or its equivalent) from overseas
  • Any courses at institutions of higher learning recognised by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE)

Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional: ≤RM8,000

Also known as SSPN, it's a savings plan for parents to invest in their children's higher education. The tax relief amount is based on the tax deposit, which is the total deposit in 2021 minus the total withdrawal in the same year.

Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021 (фото 5)

Life insurance and EPF: ≤RM7,000

This is divided into:

  • Pensionable public servant category — Public servants can claim up to RM7,000 for their life insurance premium
  • Other than pensionable public servant category — Non-public servants can claim based on two sub-categories: Life insurance premium (≤RM3,000) and EPF (≤RM4,000)

Education and medical insurance: ≤RM3,000

This is different from your life insurance premium. Claimable if you paid for any insurance premium related to education or medical for yourself, spouse or child.

SOCSO: ≤RM350

Your contribution to the Social Security Organisation is eligible for tax relief too. You'll need your EA form for this (ask your HR if you haven't received it yet). Enter the amount stated under it on your form. The tax relief for this has been increased from RM250 last year to a maximum of RM350.

Deferred Annuity and Private Retirement Scheme (PRS): ≤RM3,000

Malaysia Income Tax 2022: A guide to the tax reliefs you can claim for YA 2021 (фото 6)

Disabled individual: RM6,000

This tax relief is applicable for individuals who are disabled and registered with the Department of Social Welfare (JKM).

Basic supporting equipment for disabled self/dependants: RM6,000

Purchases of supporting equipment for disabled self or dependants (disabled spouse, children or parents) are eligible for a tax relief of up to RM6,000. Similarly, the disabled individual/dependant(s) have to be registered with the Department of Social Welfare (JKM).

Disabled husband/wife: RM5,000

This has been increased to RM5,000 from last year's RM3,500. 

Disabled child: RM6,000

*If your disabled child is 18 years old and above, unmarried, and pursuing higher education in Malaysia or overseas, you can get an additional exemption of RM8,000.



Reminder: Keep your receipts!

It is a taxpayer's responsibility to keep all the following documents and receipts for at least seven years after filing your Income Tax Return Form (ITRF):

  • EA/EC Form
  • Original dividend vouchers
  • Insurance premium receipts
  • Books purchase receipts
  • Medical receipts
  • Donation receipts
  • Zakat receipts
  • Children's birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Other supporting documents
  • Working sheets (if any)

This is for auditing purposes by the Inland Revenue Board, which will be required to help to back your claims and avoid any penalty fees.

For more info, visit the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri website.