The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will launch an income tax audit operation on professionals, including architects, lawyers and engineers.

IRB chief executive officer Datuk Sabin Samitah said that based on risk analysis, third-party information and analysis by Bank Negara Malaysia, some of these professionals have never declared their income.

Sabin said the operation would probably kick off in September or October.

“I would like to advise these professionals to come forward now and make a voluntary declaration of their income,” he told a press conference after attending the Merdeka Gathering 2017 here Tuesday.

On the target of RM127.7bil in tax collection this year, Sabin said it was achievable, but several restrictions could reduce the tax collection, including the announcement of a 1% reduction in the tax rate.

“Another restriction is in the petroleum tax collection. It is estimated that IRB will get RM8bil from petroleum tax, but we have only managed to get RM3bil so far, and this is a challenge for us,” he said.

Sabin said the IRB had managed to collect RM75.7bil in taxes so far this year, which is an increase of 2.72% compared to the same period last year.

When asked whether the IRB had purposely targeted the family of former premier Tun Dr Mahahir Mohamad in tax investigation following reports on a raid on the former premier’s son’s firms, Sabin said the IRB had never practised selective or politically-motivated investigations.

“There is no political interference. Any investigation or audit on any individual or firm is based on a detailed risk analysis by the IRB.

“When we investigate or audit, we will not just investigate a company or its director, but will also investigate the whole group of companies as being practiced in other countries,” he said.