Najib hit with $500m bill for extra taxes

PETALING JAYA • Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been slapped with an extra tax bill of RM1.5 billion (S$500 million) by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), The Edge reported yesterday.

The financial daily reported that the IRB had sent a letter to Najib about a week ago, stating the extra tax that he had to pay for the years 2011 to 2017.

Quoting sources, the report said that the RM1.5 billion is on top of what he had already paid, based on the income he had declared for those seven years.

Based on IRB's assessment, Najib had not declared taxable income of close to RM4 billion during that period, and this included the RM2.6 billion "donation" that he purportedly received from the Saudi Arabian government.

The Edge also quoted tax experts as saying donations are subject to income tax, and that Najib has committed an offence by not declaring the alleged RM2.6 billion donation as his income, regardless of the source.

But Najib has claimed that funds received from abroad are not taxable in Malaysia.

He said in a Facebook posting yesterday that the Pakatan Harapan government had previously accused him of receiving billions in funds from foreign sources, but insisted that such funds are not be subject to taxes.

"First, political contributions including from the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Finance are not subject to tax under the law.

"Second, as is publicly known, income obtained from abroad is not taxable under taxation laws," he wrote.

Najib, 66, last year said in a television interview that he did not verify the source of the RM2.6 billion that ended up in his bank account, and that he had assumed the funds would be donations linked to Saudi Arabia.

His trial over funds allegedly received from SRC International, formerly a unit of 1MDB, will start tomorrow.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2019, with the headline 'Najib hit with $500m bill for extra taxes'. Print Edition | Subscribe