Now that the 2023 tax year has begun, it’s time to check over your individual deductions and reliefs from last year — 2022 — to see if there’s anything you can do to bring down your taxable income. Proper tax planning can save you a surprising lot.

One piece of good news is the domestic trip income tax relief, which entitles you to receive tax reductions for travel expenses of up to RM1,000. So, if you’d booked a hotel or visited a tourist attraction in Malaysia in 2022, you could be eligible for an income tax relief of up to RM1,000 on the expenses.

Introduced in YA 2020, this relief is intended to help the domestic tourism and travel industry in Malaysia recover from the losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can you claim under this relief?

  • Hotel accommodation
  • Entrance fees to tourist attractions
  • Tour packages purchased through local travel agencies registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Malaysia website includes a searchable list of registered tourist accommodation premises.

Remember to save all proof of spending — such as statements, invoices, and receipts — before claiming the aforementioned tax breaks. This is done in anticipation of potential future tax authority audits. You must retain the documents evidencing to your tax returns for a minimum of seven years.

The full list of tax exemptions can be found on the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia website here.