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Tax Update: BUDGET 2023 Tax Snapshots

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

With a focus on changes to strengthen resilience and weather uncertainties in the face of an increasing difficult global economic and geopolitical environment, Budget 2023 is comprehensive, rigorous, and forward-looking. The Budget also establishes the framework for upcoming expansion and competitiveness in key fields including sustainability and digitization.

The subject of Budget 2023, “Responsive, Responsibilities and Reformist,” depicts the current economic climate by highlighting significant growth following the epidemic and moving toward the future while constructing a more resilient present. There has been a substantial increase in development spending in the Budget, which is consistent with the government taking a more active role in stimulating growth. The fundamental problems of assisting the B40 and M40 populations are also appropriately addressed.

Sustainable Social-Economic Resilience of Keluarga Malaysia

Budget 2023 suggests personal income tax reduction for the M40, increased cash handouts and loans, and income tax exemptions for women returning to the workforce after a career break, with social protection and raising disposable income as its top priority. This demonstrates the Government’s dedication to constructing a strong safety net for Malaysia’s socioeconomically vulnerable communities.

The Budget 2023 also recognized the importance of SMEs, the informal sector workers, and youths as engines for growth and innovation, through the introduction of schemes to promote and bolster development in these sectors. These includes the reduction of corporate tax rates and the provision of a one-off grant for eligible SMEs, and the introduction of various hiring and training incentive. Collectively, these measures should create a supportive environment for SMEs and serve as a catalyst for economic growth through job creation with increased disposable income.

Assisting the B40 and hardcore poor

Budget 2023 continues to use direct cash handouts as the primary measure to assist the B40, introducing a new category for Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia 2023, with allocation of RM 8.7 million recipients. The tweaks and enhancements are measured and aimed at the specific segments where assistance is needed most.

Strengthening the tax system

Malaysia will be joining including the 40 countries which have adopted or will be adopting e-invoicing. Together with the use of the Tax Identification Number (TIN), this will reduce the shadow economy, increase compliance, and expand the tax net. This reinforces other initiatives of the IRB such as the Tax Corporate Governance Framework (TCGF), which promotes better governance and transparency, and cooperation between the IRB and taxpayers.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Sustainability

The governments continuing the commitment in achieving carbon neutral status by 2050. In addition to extending duty exemptions on EV imports and the Green Investment Tax Allowance (GITA) and Green Income Tax Exemption (GITE), Budget 2023 also announces tax exemptions and investments tax allowance of up to 100% for a period of ten years. Theses initiatives were first introduced in Budget 2022. The carbon emission reduction measures covered by these incentives, which are appreciated as a part of the overall growth of the green economy, do encompass the Energy Storage component.

Budget 2023 also announced major climate changes and ESG initiatives including:

  • A feasibility study on the implementation of a carbon tax.

  • The introduction of a Sustainability Framework and targets for a fully ESG-compliant portfolio and carbon neutral operations for government-linked companies.

  • The extension of various tax incentives under the green income tax exemption (GITE) and green investment tax allowance (GITA) until 31 December 2025 for qualifying green activities.

  • Measures to incorporate planetary health in the national development agenda such as enhancing penalties on environmental polluters.

  • The allocation of funds for the development of eco-friendly projects including those supporting carbon market development and forest restoration.

  • Enhancing the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) to increase the guaranteed sum to RM3b until the year 2025 and expanding the scope of financing to include the electric vehicle sector.

  • Electronic vehicle charging equipment manufacturers to be given a 100% income tax exemption on statutory income or a 100% investment tax allowance from the year of assessment 2023 to 2032.

Budget 2023- What is missing:

With provisions and programmes that address both immediate needs and long-term goals for the country, Budget 2023 is likely one of the largest and most comprehensive budgets have ever seen. Despite the obvious lack of significant reforms that have been widely predicted over the previous year, such as the introduction of the GST, carbon fees, or a complete subsidy reform, I would still describe Budget 2023 as bold.


The Edge Market



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