Traders absorb SST charges (Updated)

02 Sep 2018 / 20:37 H.

PETALING JAYA: With the newly implemented Sales and Service Tax (SST) kicking into full swing over the weekend, many consumers were left wondering if their wallets would bear the brunt of it, but some retailers have come out to absorb the tax or even extend the tax holiday.
The Aeon chain of supermarkets has promised to put a "Price Lock" on all its prices and promised they will remain unchanged for the month of September.
Electronics and furniture retailer Harvey Norman has also promised to absorb the tax on selected items, whereas another electronics retailer Senheng Malaysia followed by promising no price changes and the absorption of the SST for the time being.
German carmaker Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) is extending the tax holiday for its range of models with the announcement of a price protection scheme.
This will apply to all Volkswagen models registered from now until Nov 15.
The company said that all its vehicle prices will remain based on those listed currently with 0% GST, and any price differences following the implementation of the SST will be absorbed by VPCM.
Meanwhile, a report in China Press today said a check of shopping malls and hypermarkets in Kuala Lumpur found that there were hardly any changes in the prices of goods.
Most shop owners said they would clear the existing stock at the old prices, and adjust the prices for the new stock depending on the quantum of increase set by the manufacturers.
"We don't know the quantum of price increase (to be imposed by manufacturers), but we are maintaining the GST zero-rated prices, and absorb the SST for now."
Several chain stores and hypermarkets approached by the daily said they would keep the old prices for the whole of September and thereafter until the old stocks are exhausted.
Most hypermarkets have also put up notices to inform customers that they are absorbing the SST for the time being.
However, most eateries have put up notices that they are charging 6% SST on top of the 10% service charge.
On Friday, traders and businessmen were laughing their way to the bank as shoppers rushed to stock up on zero-rated GST goods on the eve of the introduction of SST.
Meanwhile, SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang told Sin Chew Daily on Saturday that some businesses are not very clear about SST and have decided to keep to the old pricing during the initial stage of the new tax regime.
"Many traders are awaiting price adjustment announcements by manufacturers, and until then they have to keep to the old prices," he said.

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