Thursday, April 30, 2009

EPF @ KWSP - How To Get Your Latest Account Statement

Have you received your latest EPF @ KWSP statement of account? I remember few years back, I received my EPF @ KWSP statement by middle or end of March. But, since last year I didn't received the annual statement of account. I am sure as an EPF @ KWSP account holder, you wish to know the amount of saving you have in our retirement fund, right? Here are 2 ways how you can get your latest EFP @ KWSP account statement:

1) By printing the account statement from EPF @ KWSP Smart Kiosks. This was what me and my colleagues did. We went to the nearest Smart Kiosks and printed out the previous year and current year statement. You can find the Smart Kiosk at all EPF @ KWSP offices nationwide or some selected banks and also at National Heart Institute. Please check the complete Smart Kiosks list here.

2) By registering i-Akaun. Basically i-Akaun is an online account where EPF @ KWSP members or employees can access services offered by EPF @ KWSP. It's something like e-banking and its main purpose is to facilitate its members and employer to view and update their personal details on EPF @ KWSP matters via online. Members can also use the calculator to check their withdrawal eligibility. I registered mine earlier this month. I find that it's easier for me to monitor my EFP @ KWSP transactions. Before registering for i-Akaun, make sure you've your Activation Code and EPF number ready. You can get the Activation Code from EPF @ KWSP offices or through Smart Kiosks. Then, follow the step-by-step here.

So, if you are wondering how much you have in your EFP @ KWSP account, why not register for i-Akaun? It's convenient and save you a lot of time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Malaysian Income Tax - e-Filing Step-By-Step

I submitted my 2008 income tax through e-Filing on last Monday, 20th April 2009. That's 5 days delay from my 2009 financial goals. Anyway, I am glad I submitted my 2008 income tax before the due date.

If you are still working on your 2008 income tax, I suggest you use e-Filing. It's fast and convenient. Before you start you e-Filing project, make sure you've the followings ready:

1) Your pin number for e-Filing. You can find the pin number on hardcopy of your income tax form. Or you can go to the nearest LHDN @ IRB office to get your e-Filing pin number;
2) Your EA form from your employers. If you have more than one employer for 2008, you'll need to contact your employers to get all the EA forms;
3) Your 2008 insurance premium statement from your insurance company;
4) Other important official receipts which you will need for tax relief;
5) A calculator for your to help you with your calculations.

Then, go to LHDN@IRB website and look for e-Filing website. It will be a good idea if you can read through some of the details such as the first time log-in guide and e-Filing user guide. At least you have a rough idea on the e-Filing features. Once you've logged in, just fill in the details accordingly and remember to save all the details before move to the next page. 

Before you decided to click the 'Submit' button, make sure you double check all details. Once you submitted the your tax details, don't forget to print the acknowledgement receipt and a copy of your income tax form for your records. Do keep together with the rest of tax related details such as your EA form, insurance premium statement and related official receipts. And most important, if your payable tax, don't forget to pay your tax.

Enjoy your e-Filing submission and must submit latest by 30 April 2009.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How To Cultivate Cost Saving Attitude Among Employees

As I have mentioned in my previous blog, the most important part when you are thinking to save cost on your company expenses is to educate your staff on the importance of cost saving and its benefits to the company, the individual and to the global as a whole. The next question would be "How to educate my staff the importance of cost saving?" One solution would be to create a cost saving awareness program among employees on how to help your company to save cost. Since the employee is the living part of your company, there's no other people who can understand your company better than your employees. Once the employees understand the company, they will know where does the money flows too and how to prevent more money flowing out from their company.

To start, pick a date. Create a cost saving suggestions program among your employees. Make it a compulsory for all employees to participate. Better if everyone of your staff must come up with at least 5 practical cost saving ideas. Make the program fun and more meaningful by rewarding employees with the best and most practical cost saving suggestions. Or reward employee with the most cost saving ideas. The rewards can be in the form of monetary value or other incentives. Encourage employees to suggest as many ideas as possible. Remember to give employee enough time for them to come out with effective and practical suggestions.

From this program, company will have hundreds or thousands of fresh, useful and practical cost saving ideas from their own employees. For the employees, by participating, they are practicing accidental learning on the importance of cost saving ideas for the company. As an employee, it's great to know that their idea does matter and can help the company to move forward. And not forgetting, they will have opportunity to grab the cash incentive too.

Make sure that the company will take action and practise the useful cost saving ideas. After all, great ideas are meaningless if not been practised.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Malaysian Income Tax - The Advantages and Disadvantages Of E-Filing

I have been thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of e-Filing by Inland Land Revenue (IRB) or Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN). The points as below:

Advantages of e-Filing:

1) Fast and Convenient
E-Filing is fast and convenient. There is no need to send income tax form to the IRB or LHDN office. You will save your fuel and precious time and parking fees. Also, you no need to worry it gets lost in the post and didn't arrived at the IRB or LHDN office.

2) Environmental Friendly
Anything related to e-ways or electronic ways will save a lot of paperworks and plain papers as well. So, we are saving the planet by using e-filing.

3) Simpler and Easier
It's much easier to use e-filing as you no need to refer to the explanatory notes. You just need to select the options from the drop down menu. All the additional details are also just a click away. This saves you a lot of time.

4) More Efficiency
This is for IRB @ LHDN. It's much more efficient to process the form submitted through e-filing compare to the traditional hardcopy way. With this, e-filing is reducing a lot of headache of IRB @ LHDN personnel.

5) Faster Tax Refund
This is related to point number 4 above. When the IRB @ LHDN managed to process the form faster, you will get your tax refund faster as well. Of course this is only for those who has refund from their income tax.

Disadvantages of e-Filing:

1) Must be IT-Literate
One must be IT-Literate or at least with basic computer skills to file in their income tax through e-fling. For those with computer phobia, it's rather hard to file their income tax form the e-ways. Or for those older generations, they really have no idea how to operate with the computer. And it's hard for them to learn the computer skills. The solutions is to get a friend or family member to help to do the e-filing. Or can hire an income tax agent. But you will need to pay them for their services.

2) Access to Internet
Yes, you must have Internet access to access to the IRB @ LHDN e-filing website. If you don't have Internet access at home, you can use the Internet access from work. Just make sure you don't do it during office hours. Try to do in during lunch hour or after working hours. Or, you can go to cybercafe.

3) System Down
You will never have system down problem if you're using hardcopy. For e-filing, sometimes, the systems do have problem. System could also be slow as too many people access to the system at one time. Just make sure you don't file your e-filing during last minutes.

4) Forgot Your Password
It is easy to forget your password as nowadays there are so many pin numbers and passwords that we need to remember. If you've forgotten your password, just contact the IRB @ LHDN office for a new password. Or, the easiest and fastest is to visit the e-filing. Within minutes, you'll get your passwords.This is from my own experience.

Overall, I see more advantages in e-filing. If you still have problem with e-filing, the last solution is to bring along all your details to IRB @ LHDN e-filing centre. But, make sure you go weeks before the due date (30 Apr). Usually, the IRB @ LHDN office is very very packed and busy during the last few days of April.

Any points I missed out? Do share with me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Malaysian Income Tax - My Visit To IRB @ LHDN Office

30th April is another 3 more weeks to go. I visited Inland Revenue Board (IRB) @ Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN) office in Kuching this afternoon. I noticed a few things:

1) The staff are really helpful and friendly. Always with a smile on their face
2) Even during lunch hour, there are still enough staff at the counter, entertaining customers
3) IRB @ LHDN Kuching had set-up their e-Filing centre at Level 3, IRB Building. There are about 5 officers when I visited the place
4) The officers are assisting all kind of enquiries (generating of pin for e-Filing, requesting for new pin for e-Filing and other e-Filing issues)
5) Also, there are about 15 computers ready for submission of e-Filing. The public can just use these computers for e-Filing purpose
6) I noticed the officers are helping the tax payers to fill in the e-Filing

The officer even showed me how to log in, including the first few steps when log in for e-Filing. The officer told me, by next week, their e-Filing centre will be open till 8pm.

Overall, I am impressed with their working attitude. It's great to see the effort by IRB @ LHDN to enhance and smoothen the process of income tax filing. At least the public will find it convenient to submit their income tax.

I hope IRB @ LHDN will do some 'advertisement' on local newspapers, radio, tv or Internet, to inform the public that they have such a good e-Filing service. Because I believe most of us will not know IRB @ LHDN is providing such a helpful and friendly service. If I didn't visit IRB @ LHDN office today, I will not know it's so convenient and easy to submit income tax at IRB @ LHDN office.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stop Smoking And Start Saving & Living A Healthy Life

I know people who always complain they don't have enough money, and people who owe credit card debts. But these people have $$$ to buy cartoons of cigarettes! I have been wondering how they can buy cigarettes and just ignore those debts or go on without saving in their bank account?

At the time of writing, a pack of cigarette of 20's can easily cost about RM7. If a person smoke one pack a day, he is spending RM49 (RM7x7days) a week just for cigarettes alone. In a year, he's burning away RM2548. That's provided there is no increment in the cigarettes price. Wouldn't it be good if he uses the RM2548 to settle his credit card debts?Or start saving for his emergency account? That RM2548 will do a lot of wonder over the years.

If you're smoking, try to drop this expensive and unhealthy habits. If money is not an issue for you, think about the health part. Smoking is not only not good for your own health but also bring harm to your loved ones (spouse, children, parents). You don't want to see them suffering from being your second hand smoker, don't you?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Malaysian Income Tax - Do You Need To File Yours?

April will be a busy month for Malaysian tax payers. It is the month where Malaysian tax payers file their personal income tax to Inland Revenue Board (IRB) or Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN). The due date is on 30th April. I believe there are still a lot of us who are unsure whether we need to file our income tax to IRB or not. Why I said so? Because I still have people around me asking whether they need to file their income tax or not. Also, I heard from local radio stations, there are still people who called in and asked what is the salary range to file the income tax. From Internet, there are also still questions on whether they are liable to file their income tax or not. And not forgetting, I am one of them who used to think that your salary must reach certain level before you need to file your income tax :p

I got the answer after I went to the local IRB office. The IRB officer said that 'By right, we all must file our income tax despite of the income level'. No such thing such as you only file your income tax when your salary reach RM2500 per month. Also, I got more information from IRB website and The Malaysian Government's Official Portal. The details below which extracted from The Malaysian Government's Official Portal is clear enough to explain whether you need to file your income tax or not.

All individuals are liable to pay tax on income accrued in, derived from or remitted to Malaysia. Sources of income which can be taxed includes gains and profits from trade, profession and business, salaries, remunerations, gains and profits from an employment, dividends, interests or discounts, rents, royalties or premiums, pensions, annuities or other periodic payments and other gains or profits of an income nature not mentioned above.

Taxable income is arrived at after adjusting for expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of the income. The rate of tax depends on the resident status of the individual which is determined by the duration of his stay in the country (as stipulated under Section 7 in the Income Tax Act 1967). A resident individual is taxed on his chargeable income at graduated rates from 2% to 30% after the deduction of tax relief.

However, an individual with chargeable income of less than RM2,500 is not taxed. The chargeable income of an individual resident is arrived at by deducting from his or her total income the personal relief. Tax liability of a resident individual is reduced by rebates. Income tax matters in Malaysia are under the jurisdiction of Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia.

Perhaps you are confused by the words "However, an individual with chargeable income of less than RM2,500 is not taxed". The actual meaning of chargeable income or taxable income is your total annual income minus your personal relief and some other expenses approved by IRB. Let's take a simple example, Ali, a new graduate who earned RM24000 for 2008. His taxable income is RM24000 - RM8000 (personal relief) - RM2640* (EPF @ RM24000 x 11%) = RM13360. The taxable income is RM13360. Of course this simple calculation is taking into considerations that Ali does not has other personal relief. If after minus of the deductible, the balance is less than RM2500, then he is not taxed. For more details on personal relief for Resident Individual (for year 2008), you can click here. Please refer to part D.

So if you are a Malaysian, staying in Malaysia and have income, you are liable to file your income tax.
*There might be slight differences. Please refer to your EA form for the actual EPF employee contribution.