Understanding Income Tax for Businesses in Malaysia

Business Income Tax Malaysia


10/28/20232 min read

Twin Tower, Malaysia
Twin Tower, Malaysia


As a business owner in Malaysia, it is crucial to understand the intricacies of income tax to ensure compliance and avoid any unnecessary penalties. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of income tax for businesses, with a specific focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Types of Business Income

Business income in Malaysia can be categorized into two main types: revenue income and capital gains. Revenue income refers to income generated from the normal operations of the business, such as sales revenue, service fees, and rental income. On the other hand, capital gains are derived from the sale of assets, such as properties or investments.

Income Tax Rates for Businesses

The income tax rates for businesses in Malaysia vary depending on the type of business entity. Here are the current tax rates:

  • Sole Proprietorship and Partnership: The income tax rate is based on the individual tax rates, ranging from 0% to 30%.

  • Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd): The income tax rate is a flat rate of 24%.

Claimable Business Expenses

One of the key aspects of reducing your business's taxable income is by claiming allowable business expenses. These expenses are incurred in the course of running your business and can be deducted from your revenue income. Some common examples of claimable business expenses include:

  • Rent or lease payments for business premises

  • Salaries and wages of employees

  • Utilities and internet bills

  • Office supplies and equipment

  • Marketing and advertising expenses

Tax Incentives for SMEs

The Malaysian government offers various tax incentives to promote the growth and development of SMEs. These incentives aim to reduce the tax burden on SMEs and encourage investment in specific industries. Some notable tax incentives include:

  • Pioneer Status: SMEs engaged in qualifying activities can enjoy a tax exemption of up to 100% of their statutory income for a certain period.

  • Investment Tax Allowance (ITA): SMEs investing in qualifying capital expenditure can claim a deduction of up to 100% of the qualifying capital expenditure against their statutory income.

  • Double Deduction for Promoting Export: SMEs that incur qualifying expenses in promoting export activities can claim a double deduction for those expenses.

Record Keeping and Compliance

Proper record keeping is essential for businesses to ensure accurate reporting of income and expenses. It is recommended to maintain organized financial records, including invoices, receipts, bank statements, and accounting books. Additionally, businesses are required to submit annual tax returns (Form C) and audited financial statements (if applicable) to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).


Understanding income tax for businesses in Malaysia is crucial for all business owners, especially SMEs. By familiarizing yourself with the tax rates, claimable expenses, and available tax incentives, you can optimize your tax planning and ensure compliance with the law. Remember to consult with a tax professional or seek advice from the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) for personalized guidance based on your specific business circumstances.

[Disclaimer]: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. It's advisable to consult with financial professionals before making any loan-related decisions.