KUALA LUMPUR – The Customs Department has issued compounds of RM15,000 to 100 companies for failing to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the Feb 28 deadline.

The compounds came in the wake of a crackdown yesterday by the department in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Companies with an income threshold of RM500,00 had until Feb 28 to register for the GST which is effective April 1.

Customs Department GST Director Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy said officers were out in full force today to track down errant companies through a notice issued to them three weeks ago.

“We have their details and addresses and will force them to register for the GST. However, we will not take them to court, unless they fail to pay the compound after 14 days,” he told Bernama.

He said the time frame given for the companies to register for the GST was more than sufficient.

Subromaniam reiterated that it is important for companies to register as the department needed to provide a level playing field for businesses.

“By not being registered for the GST, they have a competitive advantage. This will create a lot of confusion and is unfair to those compliant businesses,” he said.

With less a month before the GST takes effect, he said the department is working hard to ensure a smooth transition to the new tax regime.

“The system is in place. But my main concern is the preparation of the businesses, as the failure to understand the GST guidelines will result in them facing problems, especially in the early stage of the implementation,” he said.

Due to this, Subromaniam advised business owners to read and understand the relevant guidelines available on the Customs Department’s GST online portal or contact any of its offices, should they need further clarification.

He said registered business owners should also take advantage of the ongoing two-day hand-holding sessions to help them prepare for the GST.

As of Feb 28, there were 345,376 companies registered for the GST. The initial registration deadline was set for December last year, but extended to Feb 28.