PUTRAJAYA, Aug 12 – Building materials and construction services will not be subject to the Sales and Service Tax (SST), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
He said this will be a departure from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which applied a six percent levy on basic building materials such as bricks, cement and sand, among others.
“This had led to increased construction costs under the GST era, including an increase in house prices.
“The pressure on house prices, as well as industrial and commercial buildings, is expected to ease with the abolition of the GST and exemption of the SST,” he said in a statement, adding that materials which will be exempted include iron, cement and other materials.
Lee added that the federal government hopes that construction costs will therefore be reduced, and that both developers and buyers will benefit from the reduced tax burden.
Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy had previously said that the SST comprises three categories: zero per cent, five per cent and 10 per cent, with most goods falling into the zero per cent category (or being zero-rated).
The SST will be implemented on Sept 1. On Aug 1, the GST website was converted to an SST website and featured a list of zero-rated goods.