Budget 2019: Netflix, Spotify, Steam to be taxed

Budget 2019

Malaysia’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is currently tabling Budget 2019 in Parliament, the first federal budget by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. Carrying the theme of “Credible Malaysia, Dynamic Economy, Prosperous Rakyat,” the budget focuses on reforms, the people’s well-being and promotion of entrepreneurial culture. One of the key announcements is that international online streaming and online-based services like Netflix, Spotify and Steam will be subjected to tax starting 1 January 2020.

Online services imported by users will be required to register with the Customs Department from Jan 1, 2020. This includes software, music, videos, or any digital advertising.

The move has the objective to level the playing field between local and international online-based service providers.

No details on the rate of taxation will be levied on these services just yet.

The PH administration intends to spend MYR314.6 billion in its maiden Budget for 2019.

In his opening remarks, the Finance Minister revealed that as at June 2018, the government’s real debt and liability stands at MYR1,065 billion, MYR350 billion higher than the previous Government. The Government may need to use as much as MYR43.9 billion to settle 1MDB debts.

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The Government expects GDP to grow 4.9% in 2019.

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