Raise awareness among athletes on importance of paying taxes, OCM chief tells NSC & LHDN

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has proposed that the National Sports Council (NSC) collaborate with the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) to instill awareness among athletes about the importance of paying taxes.

OCM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said both parties could hold a session to explain the actual definition of taxable income to the athletes since most of them are not so clear about the matter.

“Sometimes, in declaring income tax, there are items that can be deducted and athletes may not know that.

“It’s very important to help athletes (understand the importance of paying taxes) instead of looking for fault,” he told reporters after attending the ceremony marking the appointment of national men’s doubles pair Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun as NCT Alliance ambassadors and the Road to NCT Junior Badminton Championship launch here today.

He said it was unfair to blame athletes as they have fought and given their everything to bring glory to the country in every tournament and multi-sports Games they competed in.

“I think there’s no safety net for athletes and there’s no knowing when they will reach the end of their careers. So, surely when they are still able, they will want to save their money and make investments for a better future,” he said.

He said this when commenting on a report by a local tabloid yesterday that there were 243 cases of tax arrears involving total losses of RM15.873 million among the sports community, including athletes.

Meanwhile, he hoped that national men’s singles professional shuttler Lee Zii Jia would sign the letter of commitment (LOC) to join the Road To Gold (RTG) programme as soon as possible.

The RTG Committee co-chairman said Zii Jia needed to do so as it would facilitate the panel to provide the necessary assistance to the world number 11 shuttler.

On Oct 31, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said Zii Jia was the only athlete yet to sign the agreement and has been given 14 days to do so.