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Safer online tax filing in Malaysia: Symantec

AvantiKumar | May 9, 2012
Malaysia's Inland Revenue Board said there is a continuing increase of Malaysians using the e-filing and m-filing options.

Left Dato' Dr Mohd Shukor LHDN - Right Alex Ong Symantec

PHOTO - (From left) Dato' Dr. Mohd. Shukor bin Haji Mahfar, CEO of LHDNM; Alex Ong, senior country manager, Symantec Malaysia.


Security solutions firm Symantec and Malaysia's Inland Revenue Board (LHDNM) have reminded Malaysians to follow best practices when filing taxes and payments online. A grace period to 15 May has been announced for filing of online tax forms, on top of the initial deadline of 30 April.

Symantec Malaysia senior country manager Alex Ong said Symantec has joined force with Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDNM) to help Malaysian taxpayers adopt best practices when filing taxes (tax return forms) and making payments online including through mobile devices. "This collaboration is an ongoing initiative of Symantec and LHDN to build awareness among consumers and businesses to secure and manage their personal and confidential information during the busy tax season."

"Cyber threats have been growing in volume globally over the past years," said Ong. "According to Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 17, the number of cyber threats globally grew by 81 percent in 2011 over the previous year. As the volume of cyber threats grows, it is critical for consumers and businesses to be aware that cyber criminals are frequently adapting their methods to suit consumer interest patterns and highly-publicised events."

"They are using key events to make their e-mails more appealing, this includes New Year celebrations, holidays, celebrity news, tax filing seasons, etc.," he said. "Cyber criminals are likely to take advantage of consumers' ignorance and curiosity of the key events to entice them to reveal personal and financial information which could be misused for financial gains. Malaysian taxpayers who are submitting their tax returns through e-filing during the grace period until 15 May should therefore keep up-to-date with the latest trends in cyber threats and exercise extra caution."

"This year, LHDNM has made available the new and innovative Mobile Filing or m-filing service that provides the convenience of filing taxes through selected mobile devices for individual taxpayers without business income. LHDNM is expecting a good response to this new service with the increasing adoption of mobile devices," said LHDNM chief executive officer, Dato' Dr Mohd Shukor bin Haji Mahfar.

"As mobile penetration increases in Malaysia, it made sense to introduce an additional platform to ease accessibility and convenience of filing taxes online," said Dr Mohd Shukor. "While the Internet and mobility pave the way for greater flexibility, we encourage every taxpayer to exercise precaution through the practice of safe online habits whether on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone device."

"The online safety of taxpayers is our utmost priority and we are working closely with Symantec and other related organisations to ensure greater awareness of best practices for assured e-filing, m-filing, and e-Bayaran experiences," he said.

Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDNM) or Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia is one of the main revenue collecting agencies of the Ministry of Finance. LHDNM was established in accordance with the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia Act 1995.

Steady increase of online tax filing

Dr Mohd Shukor said that LHDNM expected an increasing number of taxpayers to file their taxes online this year. "Last year, 2.5 million Malaysian taxpayers filed their taxes online (1.7 million are from e-BE/non-business income individual taxpayers and the balance are from e-B/ business income individual taxpayers)."

He said, "As at Friday 4 May 2012, there is a 2.93 percent increase where 1,789,058 taxpayers have
successfully e-filed for all categories of electronic forms. The new m-filing facility for form e-BE (individual taxpayers) recorded as many as 5,649 logins. However, to date only 1,093 decided to actually use the facility to send their e-BE."

"By law the last day to send return forms is 30 April 2012," said Dr Mohd Shukor. "If taxpayers are not able to do so, e-filing or m-filing is the best alternative as there is a grace period of 15 days to submit their e-BE. Hence, the last day to e-file/m-file is 15 May 2012."

 Safety tips

"Taxpayers need to be extra cautious when filing their taxes online, whether through their computers or mobile devices, to ensure the protection of their confidential information such as personal identification number, address, salary, financial and contact details," said Symantec's Ong. "Symantec encourages Malaysian taxpayers to adopt online security best practices and ensure that their mobile devices are secured prior to transacting online."

He said best practices for consumers and businesses include:

 

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