Following the issuance of the Revised Code of Ethics for Tax Agents by the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board (HASiL) on January 1, 2023, HASiL has introduced the ‘Akuan Bebas Rasuah dan Pematuhan Kod Etika Ejen Cukai dibawah Subseksyen 153(3), ACP 1967 (Declaration)'.
We believe some of the tax agents who have just obtained or have just renewed their S.153(3) tax agent licenses just like us, have received a declaration form from HASiL to complete and sign.
It is noted that the declaration is in line with HASiL's Code of Ethics for Tax Agents (Revised 1/2023) and is part of HASiL's efforts to reduce the risk of bribery and abuse, as well as part of HASiL's implementation of additional controls and commitments to prevent bribery and abuse in every workflow.
On June 9, 2023, the Chartered Tax Institute Of Malaysia submitted to HASiL feedback from the CTIM Public Practice Committee on the Return and the Code of Ethics mentioned above.
On June 13, 2023, HASiL provided a written response
Introduction of Anti-Corruption Measures for Tax Agents
For your information, the introduction of the Anti-Corruption Declaration and Compliance with the Tax Agent's Code of Ethics under subsection 153(3) of the Income Tax Act 1967 is a follow-up to the implementation of the MS ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) at the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRBM).
Implementing the MS ISO 37001:2016 ABMS certification also necessitates amendments to the Tax Agent's Code of Ethics, as previously communicated to the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM) through a letter dated January 5, 2023.
To meet the certification requirements, IRBM must demonstrate improvement efforts to reduce the risk of corruption and abuse of position/authority while enhancing controls and commitments.
IRBM undertakes this effort and involves its affiliates to prevent corruption and abuse of position/authority in every work process. In the context of tax agent processing and management carried out by IRBM, affiliates refer to tax agents and members within their firms.
This aligns with introducing a new section under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, Section 17A of the MACC Act (Amendment 2018), which came into effect on June 1, 2020.
Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009 establishes the principle of corporate liability, whereby a commercial organisation commits an offence if its employees and/or affiliates commit corruption for the organisation's benefit.
However, commercial organisations can defend themselves by demonstrating that they have implemented 'adequate procedures' to prevent corruption in their operations or business activities.
The Government has also issued Guidelines on Adequate Procedures as required under Section 17A(5) of the MACC Act (Amendment 2018).
These guidelines serve as a reference for commercial organisations on efforts that can be implemented to prevent corruption crimes.
Link to the Guidelines on Adequate Procedures: https://giacc.jpm.gov.my/en/dasar/garis-panduan-tatacara-mencukupi/
Suppose tax agents do not have any anti-corruption procedures/MS ISO 37001:2016 ABMS certification in their organisations. In that case, tax agents must comply with the Tax Agent's Code of Ethics of the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (Amendment 1/2023). This aligns with the adoption of MS ISO 37001:2016 ABMS by IRBM.
For any further inquiries regarding these new provisions, Tax Agents can visit the Official Portal or contact MACC at https://www.sprm.gov.my/
Restrictions on Firm Staff Interactions with IRBM Officers
Paragraph 5.2.2 stipulates that the staff or personnel of the firm are still not allowed to negotiate or deal with IRBM officers except in the taxpayer's presence, where all negotiation or dealings occur between IRBM officers and the taxpayer directly and not with the staff or personnel of the firm.
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