In accordance with the latest amendment to Section 46 of the Income Tax Act 1967, an additional paragraph (ha) has been included.
This paragraph enables parents of children 18 years old or below diagnosed with specific symptoms of learning disabilities to seek tax relief for medical expenses.
These expenses must be incurred in relation to the following:
Evaluations carried out for the purpose of diagnosis;
Early intervention programs or rehabilitation treatments.
Section 46(ha) reads as follows:
an amount limited to a maximum of four thousand ringgit expended or deemed expended under subsection (3) in that basis year by that individual on his child who at any time in that basis year is of the age of eighteen years and below, in respect of:-
assessment for the purpose of diagnosis of learning disability certified by a medical practitioner registered with the Malaysian Medical Council; or
early intervention programme or rehabilitation treatment for learning disability conducted by an allied health practitioner in the field of learning disability registered under the Allied Health Professions Act 2016: Provided that:-
the claim is evidenced by a receipt and certification issued by the medical practitioner that the assessment for the purpose of diagnosis was provided to the child and that the child is diagnosed with learning disability;
the claim is evidenced by a receipt and certification issued by the allied health practitioner that the early intervention programme or rehabilitation treatment was provided to the child;
the assessment for the purpose of diagnosis, early intervention programme or rehabilitation treatment which qualify for deduction are for the following learning disabilities:
autism spectrum disorder;
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;
global developmental delay;
down syndrome; and
specific learning disability;
the assessment for the purpose of diagnosis, early intervention programme and rehabilitation treatment are provided in Malaysia;
the maximum amount of deduction under this paragraph shall apply notwithstanding that that individual may have more than one child; and
the deduction under this paragraph shall be part of the amount limited to a maximum of ten thousand ringgit in paragraph (g);
Although it was not explicitly stated whether both parents can claim this relief, a discussion was held on 21 June 2023 between the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (HASiL), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM), and other professional bodies.
This discussion revolved around the Joint Memorandum on Issues Arising from the 2023 Budget Speech & Finance Bill 2023, submitted to the Tax Authorities on 7 April 2023.
The feedback from the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia was as follows:
Individuals residing in Malaysia can claim this deduction for an assessment year based on the amount spent on early intervention or rehabilitation treatment for their child, regardless of whether they are married or divorced.
For separate assessments made by a husband and wife, both spouses can claim a tax deduction of up to RM4,000 each for expenses related to early intervention or rehabilitation treatment for a child with learning disabilities.
This deduction forms part of the total deduction amount of RM10,000 under paragraph 46(1)(g) of the Income Tax Act 1967 (ITA). Example
Ahmad and Fatimah’s five-year-old child has been diagnosed with Autism.
During 2023, both Ahmad and Fatimah collectively incurred RM10,000 for rehabilitation treatment.
They can provide receipts which show that they were the payers of the treatment on different occasions (i.e. Ahmad has paid RM5,000, and Fatimah paid the other RM5,000).
Based on the above circumstances, both parents have incurred expenses for the same child and opted for separate assessments.
Both Ahmad and Fatimah can claim tax relief of RM4,000, respectively, regardless of whether they are married or divorced.
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