Establishing Residency in Malaysia - Trips Abroad

Really hoping I can get some help. I came here end of 2017 and am trying to establish residency to stop paying emergency tax. However, I have to take two trips abroad. Would anyone be able to state when I can establish tax?

December 2017 - Malaysia
January 2018 - Malaysia
February 2018 - 6 days in U.K. (inc travel)
March 2018 - Malaysia
April 2018 - 13 days in the U.K. (inc travel)
May 2018  - Malaysia
June 2018 - Malaysia
July 2018  - Malaysia
August 2018  - Malaysia
September 2018  - Malaysia
October 2018  - Malaysia
November 2018  - Malaysia
December 2018  - Malaysia (would like to travel outside if possible)

Hope you can help.

First question is what immigration status do you have? Second is it Malaysian or UK tax? The reason for the question is whether you are thinking of getting a Certificate of Residence in Malaysia under the DT treaty, or to reduce the flat rate (non-resident) local tax of 28%.

Hello and thanks for your reply.

I'm here on a working visa and want to reduce the emergency/flat tax rate in Malaysia. I am on a contract from December 2017 - December 2019.

Does this help?

Just checking some details.

Thank you very much for your reply. I have given the maximum times (6) (13) days. It shall certainly be less.

So because each period out of the country is less than 14 days it won't reset the 182 days, just add to it.  The 14 day + out of Malaysia rule counts for single periods only. Am I understanding correctly?

I removed the comments above because while I was looking into how "days" are counted in Malaysia, I came across some conflicting information.

It is not from an official source, so I am just checking to see whether the 14 consecutive days is a TOTAL number.

I just checked here and the word "aggregate" is used in an official context - see 7. (b) (iii)

So my take is you will not be able to claim back tax for 2017 because your total absences within the first 182 days are more than 14.

Thank you very much. If I disregard claiming back tax for 2017, and start from 1 Jan 2018, when would I be able to become tax resident in 2018? Thanks very much for you're time.

After 182 days (so you would need to make allowance in counting days for the  6 and 13 days when you are out station).


So to confirm.

1. Taking both trips means I lose the tax back for December 2017.

2. However, if I take both trips I can establish residency here towards the end of July.

3. Once residency is established I can claim back emergency tax - residency tax for Jan-July 2018.

When a total of 182 days in Malaysia in 2018  is reached, you qualify as tax resident as long - as you are holding a long-term immigration status, i.e. not a tourist.

When you do your tax return for Jan-Dec 2018 (in March 2019) any overpayment of tax will be reimbursed.

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