PETALING JAYA: All cars registered before March 31, 2023, should be given vehicle sales tax exemption, instead of basing it on a booking deadline of June 30, says an industry leader.
This will avoid confusion among different levels of stakeholders, from processing the booking, to delivery by dealers and its registration, said Datuk Tony Khor, the Federation of Motor and Credit Companies Association of Malaysia (FMCCAM) president.
Cars booked by today are eligible for the exemption as long as they are registered before March 31 next year.
"Since the government allows cars booked on or before June 30 to enjoy the tax exemption as long as they are registered before March 31, 2023, why not just extend the tax exemption deadline to the same day?
"Let car owners be entitled to the exemption as long as they register their cars by that date," he told The Star yesterday.
Khor said although the federation welcomed the government's decision to allow registrations until March next year, today's booking deadline has created a frenzy with people thronging dealerships.
With the nine-month period between booking and registration deadlines, he said dealers would have to wait for Customs clearance and confirmation if each car was entitled to the exemption before registration could be done.
"This process will take time, especially if there is a dispute over the actual booking date.
"We hope the Finance Ministry will allow all vehicles registered on or before March 31 to get the exemption," he added.
Car dealer YS Khong said customer inquiries have been pouring in, especially after the government announced that there would be no more extensions to the deadline.
"I still have customers asking me about the deadline.
"All dealers are experiencing heavy traffic and workload to ensure bookings are officially recorded," he said.
"It's good that the government allows car to be registered until March next year but clients have to make up their minds by June 30," added the five-time Malaysian rally champion, who also runs a YouTube channel about cars.
Bermaz Auto Bhd executive chairman Datuk Seri Ben Yeoh said its company showrooms had been receiving a rush of bookings recently.
The company, he said, had about 9,000 outstanding bookings but was confident of delivering the orders before March 31, as demand was expected to dip from tomorrow.
Perodua president and chief executive officer Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said the extended registration deadline would give the industry some breathing room to meet consumers' demand.
Among issues that are currently affecting local suppliers include component and manpower shortages, he said in a statement.
A Klang-based Honda dealer, who wished to be known only as Teoh, said his outlet has been handling hundreds of bookings with more clients pouring in since earlier this week.
"Everyone is rushing to place a booking," he said, adding that his outlet's computerised booking system was down for a while due to high traffic.
A booking is considered valid when a deposit of between RM500 and RM1,000 is paid and the buyer's details are entered into the system.
He, too, called on the government to extend the tax exemption period.
"Another extension will encourage consumption and give stakeholders time to sort out the challenges and deliver," he said.
The vehicle sales tax exemption was first announced on June 5, 2020, during the Penjana stimulus package and was scheduled to end on Dec 31 the same year. It was extended to June 30, 2021, then again to Dec 31, 2021.
During the tabling of Budget 2022, the exemption was extended for a third time to today.
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