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LAST_UPDATEMon, 23 Apr 2018 12am

Here's Why Jho Low and Riza Aziz Do Not Have To Pay Malaysian Taxes

In the parliamentary session yesterday, controversial billionaire Jho Low was once again debated by Malaysian politicians. This time, Jho Low and Riza Aziz, the Prime Minister's step-son's tax return were the issue at hand.

During the session, it was Segambut's Member of Parliament (MP), Lim Lip Eng who raised the issue.

Lim Lip Eng asked the session, that if it's true that Jho Low did not gain any income from his dealings with 1MDB's money, where did his income come from and how much has been collected from his income tax by the Inland Revenue Board.

Responding to the question, the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani explained that both Jho Low and Riza do not have any tax file under the IRB, as both of them have not declared their income in Malaysia.

Johari then further explained that the IRB will hunt down anyone who tries to avoid tax payments, even if they did not file their tax releases.

"IRB is fair with everyone. If you live in Malaysia, you have assets in Malaysia, you have income in Malaysia but you did not file your taxes, you will get due taxes," said Johari.

The exchange in parliament had been widely shared by netizens who speculated over the non-payment of taxes by these two individuals.

Political analyst Lim Sian See (LSS) has responded, citing Malaysia's Inland Revenue Board (IRB) regulations as a reference to why not all Malaysians pay taxes.

This is because, an individual is only eligible to be taxed if he/she is in the country for at least 182 days or more in a scheduled tax year.

According to IRB, if someone lives permanently in Malaysia, the question of their eligibility will not be questioned.

"Why Jho Low and Riza Aziz do not pay tax in Malaysia?

"Simple.

"They are not in the country 182 days or more per year and do not earn their income here.

"Therefore, they are not considered as TAX RESIDENT in Malaysia and hence do not pay tax here," Lim Sian See wrote in a recent Facebook update regarding the issue.

He also added that presumably, Riza and Jho Low should be paying their taxes towards the country where they base their operations at.

-mD