Small and medium-sized enterprises and tax compliance burden in Malaysia: Issues and challenges for tax administration


Tax-related compliance is one of the major difficulties facing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) internationally. The importance of SME sectors in Malaysia is largely acknowledged but government consideration of the regulatory burden is often restricted to general business and finance-related issues. Even the role of relevant authorities, particularly the Inland Revenue Board, may be considered substantially low.

This paper discusses the SME tax compliance burden, relevant international and Malaysian compliance cost estimates, and challenges for Malaysian SMEs. The paper concludes by indicating the challenges facing the Malaysian government and recommending income tax simplification measures.


Jeff Pope
Tax Policy Research Unit, School of Economics and Finance, Curtin University, Perth WA

Hijattulah Abdul-Jabbar
Tax Policy Research Unit, Curtin University, Perth WA; University Utara, Malaysia


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