By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |
The lower house of the Malaysian Parliament yesterday (Dec 15) passed the Federal government’s proposed budget in a much watched event as the opposition parties attempted to derail the major legislation.
Away from the limelight, a Sikh tax expert had been labouring away with a large team to produce a definitive guide to the budget and tax details coming out of the budget proposals.
Harvindar Singh has been chairman of Budget Commentary and Tax Information – a booklet produced jointly by professional bodies together with the main accounting firms in Malaysia – since 2014. This latest booklet, a much sought after document in the industry, marks the seventh edition under his belt.
“This booklet is very popular and can be found on the table of every finance person in Malaysia. It is also used as a quick reference guide by the income tax officers and officers of other government agencies,” said Harvindar, the tax partner at Harvey & Associates and SCS Global Consulting Sdn Bhd.
The 387 page booklet is produced jointly by three professional bodies along with the main accounting firms in Malaysia. The bodies are Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), Chartered Tax Institute Of Malaysia (CTIM) and Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) .
Harvindar led a team of about 80 professionals from the various firms and professional bodies in the collaborative effort to publish the annual booklet.
“It is quite a heavy responsibility as every script that appears in the booklet requires my final review and approval,” he told Asia Samachar.
The booklet carries key tax updates and details of the proposed amendments as announced in the Malaysia’s 2021 federal budget and useful information on practically all aspects of Malaysian taxation.
“It truly is an honour to be given this role and I have tried to play my small part in the successful production of the booklets. I am grateful for the support given by the whole team from the various firms and professional bodies,” he said.
Harvindar, a Fellow of The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, is a member of the MIA and Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia.
He started his professional career as a tax consultant in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 1994. In 2001, he moved to Ernst & Young (EY).
After a six year stint, he left in 2006 to set up his own firm Harvey & Associates dabbling in all areas of taxation, including cross border taxation, tax audits and investigations, tax advisory, seminars and appearing at the Special Commissioners of Income Tax for tax cases that were brought to the courts.
In 2009, he was invited to join as the tax partner in SCS Global Consulting (M) Sdn Bhd, a boutique firm that provides accounting, consulting and taxation services to Japanese clients. Over the years, it has grown to have a presence in 16 countries, mostly in Asia and also in the Netherlands, the US, and Australia.
“I am blessed to have great partners who I have worked with for more than 11 years and long may this partnership continue,” he said.
PASSION FOR KNOWLEDGE SHARING
While at PwC and EY, Harvindar was active in conducting in-house training, a trait he has held on until today. “I’m passionate about knowledge-sharing,” he said.
He noted that his involvement in the seminar and training route had forced him to ensure that he was always trying to be technically sound and up to date with the industry developments.
“This helps me keep abreast of developments in the tax field as well as reach out to taxpayers that might need my expertise,” he said.
Over the years, he has also served as a chief examiner for Chartered Tax Institute Of Malaysia (CTIM).
Harvindar was born in 1969 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. His father Chanan Singh retired as an engineer with national broadcaster Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) while his mother Gian Kaur was a housewife. Chanan had also volunteered for many years at the Selayang gurdwara.
In his spare time, Harvindar plays the harmonium, tabla and sings Sikh hymns.
Tax specialist, audit expert now part of Tricor Malaysia (Asia Samachar, 7 May 2020)