Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) in Malaysia

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If you are wondering if you might be taxed on the disposal of your property, we will help you Save Money with the six honest answers to the following : What, Why, Who, How, Where and When.

What is Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT)?

RPGT is a form of tax levied by the Inland Revenue (LHDN) on capital gains derived from the disposal of real property (which generally means any land and building).

How net capital gains is calculated is discussed below under ‘How RPGT is calculated?’.


Why do we have RPGT in Malaysia?

There are many reasons why RPGT is imposed. One of the more significant reasons why the government imposes this tax is to curb property speculation to avoid property bubbles forming. From time to time, the government may decide to increase or decrease RPGT to suit the their agenda e.g. they could reduce RPGT to encourage investments (this actually happened between 1 April 2007 – 31 December 2009 where property transactions during this period were exempted from RPGT to spur investments).

The other obvious reason is that RPGT is a source of revenue for the government to develop the nation. As for how effectively the government does this is an altogether separate topic for discussion not covered here.


Who needs to pay RPGT?

Both individuals and companies! Having said that, a Malaysian or a PR in Malaysia may claim a one-time (once in a lifetime!) exemption of RM10,000 or 10% of the gain (greater of the two) upon disposal of a private residence.

How RPGT is calculated?

The bad news is that if you are disposing off a property at a significant gain, you are likely to be taxed for it. But here is the good news. You will only be taxed on your net capital gains as opposed to the gross capital gain. Gross capital gains are simply calculated by taking the selling price less the purchase price.

To arrive at your net capital gains, you are allowed to subtract from the gross capital gain certain expenses (don’t forget to keep the bills!) such as:

  • Legal fees
  • Real estate fees (sales commission) incurred to sell the property (typically between 2% – 3% of the selling price)
  • Administrative fees
  • Expenditure incurred to maintain/upgrade the property. This can include upgrade works done the property such as renovations and interior design works

 

Generally, the dates which are used to determine the RPGT tax rates are dependent on the date when the property was acquired and date when property was disposed off) are the dates of the respective Sale and Purchase Agreements.

The same applies for properties under construction i.e. the purchase date is determined as the date on the Sale and Purchase Agreement, when you agreed to buy the property and not the property completion date.

Gifts between family members are deemed to be “No gain no loss” transactions and thus for subsequent disposals the acquisition price will be that of the initial giver’s acquisition price.

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