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Definition of Partnership for Tax Purposes

Definition of a Partnership

According to section 2 of the Income Tax Act of 1967 (ITA 1967), the legal definition of a partnership is "any association of any kind between parties who have agreed to combine any of their rights, powers, property, labour, or skill for the purpose of carrying on a business and sharing the profits therefrom."


The definition does not include a Hindu joint family, even though members of such a family may be partners in a partnership.

Additionally, the definition does not include any association that was established pursuant to a scheme of financing in accordance with the principles of syariah.

It is not sufficient to establish a partnership just by holding joint ownership of a piece of property, such as a house or a plantation.

A person is not considered a partner in a business if the widow of a deceased partner receives a share of the business's profits as an annuity from the business.

'Individuals" and "Persons'

A partnership need not be confined to individuals.

A partnership can be defined as a business relationship that exists between two companies or between a company and an individual.

Therefore, the term "partnership" refers to a connection between 2 or more individuals or persons in which they have made a pact to split the profits of a business that either all of them are running together or any one of them is running on their behalf.

The Special Commissioners ruled in the case SK v. Ketua Pengarah Hasil Dalam Negeri (1996) MSTC 2670 that a certificate of registration is prima facie and substantial evidence of the existence of a partnership. 

Who is Responsible for paying Income Tax

When determining who is responsible for paying income tax, it is essential to distinguish between "individuals" and "persons."

The latter term has a broader meaning because, in addition to persons, it also covers other legal entities such as companies and Hindu joint families. However, partnerships are not included in its definition.

It was also confirmed in Rose v FC of T (1951) 84 CLR 118 that a partnership is not a Chargeable Person per se because it is not a separate legal entity like a company.

As a consequence of this fact, the partners of the partnership will be considered Chargeable Persons and will be subject to taxation on the partnership's profits.

Partnership Act

The Partnership Act 1961 was enacted in Malaysia to regulate partnerships, and the provisions contain rules that must be followed.

Public Ruling

In 2021, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) published Public Ruling No. 7/2021 on "Partnerships Taxation Part I – Determination of the Existence of a Partnership" to guide on determining whether or not a partnership exists for the income tax.

According to the Partnership Act of 1961 and the Income Tax Act of 1967, the Public Ruling provided a list of the features of a partnership and the elements that should be examined when deciding whether or not a partnership exists. 

Paragraph 6.3 of the Public Ruling outlines the distinctions between a co-ownership and a partnership.

The Public Ruling No. 7/2021 should be read in conjunction with the Public Ruling No. 8/2021 entitled "Partnerships Taxation Part II - Computation and Allocation of Income."


根据《1967年所得税法令》(ITA 1967)第2条,合伙企业的法律定义是 - "同意将其任何权利、权力、财产、劳动或技能结合起来以开展业务并分享其中的利润的各方之间的任何形式的团体。"






”个人 "和 "人士“



因此,术语 "合伙 "是指2个或更多的个人或人士之间的联系,在这种联系中,他们达成协议,分享他们所有人共同经营的业务的利润,或分享其中任何一个人代表他们经营的业务的利润。

税收局特别专员在 SK 诉 Ketua Pengarah Hasil Dalam Negeri(1996)MSTC 2670 一案中裁定,注册证书是合伙企业存在的表面证据和实质性证据。 


在确定谁有责任支付所得税时,必须区分 "个人 "和 "人士"。


而在 Rose v FC of T (1951) 84 CLR 118 一案中也证实了合伙企业本身不属于课税人士 [Chargeable Person],因为它不像公司那样是一个独立的法律实体。

有鉴于此,合伙企业的股东也就成了课税人士 [Chargeable Person],需要为合伙企业的净利纳税。




2021年,内陆税收局(IRB)发布了《第 7/2021 号公共裁决》,内容为 "合伙企业税收第一部分 --确定合伙企业的存在",以指导确定合伙企业是否存在时所得税的问题。


《公共裁决》第6.3段也概述了共同所有权 [Co-ownership] 和合伙企业 [Partnership] 之间的区别。

第 7/2021 号公共裁决应与题为 "合伙企业税收第二部分 -- 收入的计算和分配" 的第 8/2021 号公共裁决一起阅读。

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