M'sian Influencer Reminds Content Creators To Pay Income Tax After Not Declaring RM160,000

He said he was summoned by the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) to be "interrogated".

Cover image via @say_shazril (Instagram)

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A Malaysian influencer has reminded all citizens, especially freelance or part-time content creators, to properly keep track of their income for tax purposes

The influencer and medical doctor, Dr Shazril Shaharuddin, recently revealed he was summoned by the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) in 2020 for incorrectly filing his taxes.

Sharing with his 350,000 followers on Instagram, he recounted how he had not declared all the money he had been paid for all the online campaigns he had done from 2016 to 2019.

He was summoned by mail to the LHDN office at Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur.

"In my head, I was thinking I really had to apologise for not knowing anything about taxes, because that's the truth, nobody ever taught me about taxes," he shared.

According to Shazril, who is also known online as Dr Say, he was taken to a room by an LHDN officer to be "interrogated"

The officer had a file listing all the sponsored social media posts and events Shazril had made or hosted for different brands over the last few years.

"I knew I was busted, and I admitted that all the posts were by me," said Shazril.

During the audit, the influencer said he was asked how much he had charged for each campaign and how much he had earned from his two shows, MyDoctors and Tanya Doktor.

He also shared that he had paid income tax when he was working as a government officer from 2016 to 2017, so that was not the issue.

It was when he went freelance from 2018 to 2019 that LHDN had determined he earned RM160,000 annually, which was not declared

"I don't remember specifically how much I earned in 2018 and 2019, because I did many social media campaigns here and there, and the payment will often come through late," he reasoned.

LHDN then informed Shazril he had RM50,000 in unpaid taxes, a figure which left him shocked.

Thankfully, with the help of the officer, Shazril said he managed to recover a few old receipts to claim some tax relief

In the end, he only had to pay RM40,000 in monthly instalments, which made the amount manageable.

Shazril said he learnt a huge lesson from the incident and has nurtured the habit of keeping every receipt of important purchases to claim income tax relief.

"No matter how little or how much you earn, LHDN is watching," he cautioned.

"Don't be like the old me. Fulfil your duty as a responsible Malaysian citizen by paying taxes," he added.

If you are new to the workforce, here's how to file your income tax and claim tax reliefs for the first time:

LHDN has access to taxpayers' bank accounts for reviews and investigations:

The authorities also have the power to blacklist taxpayers from leaving the country if they have unpaid income tax:

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