Security flaw – suspend income tax e-filing system

Security flaw - suspend income tax e-filing system

The Inland Revenue Board should suspend its income tax e-filing system if it is not safe and secure following complaint of security flaw of the system allowing access to the particulars of other taxpayers.

I have received an email from a taxpayer complaining such a security flaw, as follows:

As I was filing my tax returns via e-Filing I encountered something that made me worried. As I clicked the save & continue button but the page refreshed with some other person’s Tax No. as well as their PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL info!

I was shocked and can even see the bank info and account number… I print screen and hope to make it known to others the possible leak of P&C info.

I find this NOT amusing as leaking anyone’s financial info makes me lose trust in the system and LHDN. Imagine I got to view 2 other person’s data!

If anyone here has direct access to LHDN’s Head Officer please inform him/her as to this matter to rectify ASAP!

The complainant has also posted his complaint on his blog, WattaHack?

The Inland Revenue Board must demonstrate that with the introduction of its income tax electronic filing system, it is in the 24/7 era and mode, capable of giving instant response on its website even before the Inland Revenue Board office opens at 8 am tomorrow.

I am forwarding this blog to the Inland Revenue Board, [email protected], which will serve as a test as to whether it has fully embraced the 24/7 concept of e-government enabling it to come up with an immediate response today or whether it is still adopting the snail’s space to operate its e-filing system.

Let see how long the Inland Revenue Board takes to respond to this complaint of its e-filing security flaw.


I have got an instant automatic reply in my email to the Inland Revenue Board as follows, which is no good at all:


Ini merupakan maklumbalas secara automatik terhadap e-mel tuan/puan.

E-mel tuan/puan telah diterima pada 04/08/2007 jam 13:15:03.

Untuk makluman tuan/puan, pegawai kami sedang menyemak soalan-
soalan yang dikemukakan dan kami berharap dapat mengemukakan
jawapannya dalam tempoh terdekat.

Bagi memudahkan pihak kami mengesan dan menyemak e-mel asal
tuan/puan, sila gunakan nombor yang tertera di sebelah atas mesej

Pusat Khidmat Pelanggan
Jabatan Pengurusan Hasil LHDNM

Dear Sir/Madam

This is an automated response from system.

We received your e-mail on 04/08/2007 at 13:15:03.

Our officers are currently checking on your enquiries, and hope to have
an answer for you shortly.

In the event you need to contact us regarding your original message, please
refer to the tracking number at the top of this message. This will help our officer
locate and review your correspondence with us.

Customer Service Centre
Revenue Management Department LHDNM

  1. #1 by PureMalaysian on Sunday, 8 April 2007 - 2:57 pm

    I was about to pay my income tax using the online service, but luckily I read this before proceed to the LHDN e-filing site; thanks for the heads-up!

    Malaysia Boleh!

  2. #2 by Pengajar on Sunday, 8 April 2007 - 8:08 pm

    Is that call ” transparency ” ? There was a day when I wanted to take the Air Asia flight from where I am now. The ground staff asked me if I am from elsewhere because that was what showed up automatically in their computer.

  3. #3 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 8 April 2007 - 8:21 pm

    I’m sorry but why e-file at all?

    I’m assuming of course that you would need to pay to e-file. In the U.S. we are given the option of e-filing our tax returns if we pay about $15.00+ for one. We do e-filing only because we are expecting a tax refund – yes, tax refund which is common since they tend to deduct more from our pay each month. Other paper filing is free.

    To help us in the filing of our taxes, there are some good software out there which is available for purchase. You get your refund if filed electronically in a matter of less than a week. Paper filing would get you your money in two months.

    If you have a problem with your tax returns past or current you could lift up your phone and there will be someone ready to discuss it with you.

    But the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) is serious about fraud and non-payment of taxes. Yes, if you don’t pay your taxes your salaries will be garnished and there is nothing you can do. Garnishment and foreclosure of properties for non-payment of taxes is very common. It does not matter who you are. Their enforcement unit is given police powers of search and seizure, arrest etc.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, Malaysia when compared to the U.S. would be 2 in terms of performance, not including enforcement.

  4. #4 by WFH on Sunday, 8 April 2007 - 9:51 pm

    Looks like I will not face this danger of loss of private “CONFIDENTIAL” data…. I’ve just received a letter from the LHDN that I need not file my tax return. It’s only because I chased them for the Borang BE which I had still not received at end-March, this came just last week, so very late.

  5. #5 by ahkok1982 on Sunday, 8 April 2007 - 10:23 pm

    well, it is really a disgrace. somehow, this is something which i hav already expected. few flaws i expected when they announced tt they r gonna use e-filing:
    1) leakage of personal information
    2) u tot u submitted but then actually did not go through then get fined for not filing tax return
    3) info u submitted become screwy n then they blame u for not filing truthfully
    4) cannot get access to e site to file cuz of server down or overload
    5) they say they lost e info tt u said u filed n then either blame u for not filing n then fine u or ask u to file again.

    well, seems like no.1 and 4 on my list happened… so juz waiting to c when e others will happen.

  6. #6 by negarawan on Monday, 9 April 2007 - 11:47 am

    Legal action can be taken against the LHDN for this serious flaw! I made the right decision to continue using the paper form for the simple reason that I do not have confidence in BN machinery! It’s all empty talk, rhetorics, and deceit!

  7. #7 by baktiau on Monday, 9 April 2007 - 2:11 pm

    i tried to do e-filing few weeks back, but did not submit when reaching the very last page. I noticed that the PCB column was non-editable & defaulted to 0, even though I do contribute to PCB via the company monthly deductions. Hence, I hold on & emailed the LHDN to asked regarding this matter. I also gotten the same auto-generated reply email (which is worthless), and till today, NO REPLY at all. Lost hope on this e-filing system, plan to go back for paper base submission. I heard my friends said if you did e-filing once, they are not going to send anymore BE form to your house. I got though, end of last year (as if cannot wait to get $ from me).

  8. #8 by raven77 on Monday, 9 April 2007 - 4:58 pm

    KISS – Keep it simple stupid….efiling? someone at LHDN wants to make money…..All assessments wrong…pay first argue later….otherwise will do the 104 on you…how? LHDN no different from Sibu gangsters

  9. #9 by lakshy on Thursday, 12 April 2007 - 12:49 pm

    In Malaysia, there is an income tax. Money paid to “zakat” or the obligatory alm Muslims must give to the poor reduces the tax to be paid while money paid to other religions under similar circumstances is not given similar treatment:

    it reduces tax only if the particular beneficiary has obtained such status from the government, which is difficult in practice.
    even then, if money is donated to a non-Muslim religion it is only deducted from the income on which the amount of tax is based, while zakat is deducted from the amount of tax itself. For example, suppose a person earning RM 50,000 owes a tax of RM 3,000, and donates RM 1,000 to his religion. If he were non-Muslim he would then adjust his assessed income to RM 49,000. If he were Muslim then he would only have to pay RM 2,000 as the RM 1,000 would be deducted from the amount owed.

    Did you know that? Wow, that way I can avoid paying all tax, by giving to charities! I always felt that this country is run by taxes paid by non-muslims. This shows its true.

    So the salaries paid to the mainly muslim government servants comes from taxes paid by chinese companies such as Genting (gambling profits), and others. The chinese restaurants and businesses that sell pork etc also pay taxes which ends up paying the muslim civil servants.

    Taxed profits of companies that dont make money the Islamic way, also ends up being used to pay all salaries.

    Wow….wonder if all that tax income is considered as kosher to be used for paying muslim salaries?

  10. #10 by Rikey on Thursday, 12 April 2007 - 10:15 pm

    Hi Guys! Finally registered here. Its no fun to point out a flaw in the Gov system just like that former ACA guy being put in coldstorage. After this LHDN issue got highlighted its become a circus show and so called trys to verify the claim and SOP of denial. Why can’t the Depts and Heads just own up and take responsibility and rectify it and make an announcement that its possible and we have taken extra steps to aviod such incidents. Rather than the SOP “It didn’t Happen” “Its just lies by those Bloggers” “Our system is 100% perfect, we paid alot for it”

  11. #11 by jameslim on Monday, 30 April 2007 - 1:28 am

    Sidetracking from the main issue but to baktiau’s poser on 9 April 2007, I faced a similar problem. I googled the PCB issue and stumbled upon this site. On closer inspection, I realised that the PCB deduction can be found on the 2nd page under Pendapatan Berkanun. I suppose LHDN should make improvements on the format sequence of the PCB deduction. Hope this helps.

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