Determination of Residence Status
Generally, residence status for tax purposes is based on the number of days spent by the individual in Malaysia and is independent of citizenship.
(Note that spending part of a day in Malaysia counts as being physically present for the whole day - for example, someone who arrives in Malaysia at 11pm and leaves at 3am the next day, will be considered as having stayed in Malaysia for two days).
There are 4 ways in which an individual can qualify as a resident in Malaysia - if he falls in any of these categories he will be a resident, if not he will be a non-resident:
1. The individual is in Malaysia for 182 days or more in a basis year.
2. The individual is in Malaysia for less than 182 days in a basis year but the period is linked to another period of 182 days or more consecutively throughout which he was in Malaysia either in the year preceding or immediately following that year of assessment. Temporary absences allowed are for:
3. The individual is in Malaysia for 90 days (the days need not be consecutive days) or more in a basis year, and in each of any 3 out of 4 years of assessment immediately preceding that particular year of assessment he was either considered resident, or in Malaysia for a period or periods amounting in all to 90 days or more.
4. The individual is not in Malaysia during the basis year, or he is in Malaysia for less than 90 days, but:
Under this category, an individual can be a resident in Malaysia even though he might never actually have been in Malaysia at all during that basis year.
Malaysian citizens employed in the public service/statutory authority
A Malaysian citizen is deemed to be resident in Malaysia for a particular year of assessment if:
The objective of this subsection is to allow public servants to continue to be treated as residents and assessed at a scaled rate rather than the flat resident rate.