Changes To Labuan Taxation Framework

Malaysia in principle has committed to implement and to adhere to requirements of the OECD – Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (“FHTP”), which ensures tax regime across countries are equitable, transparent and substantive.

In Nov 2018, changes to tax treatment for Labuan entities were announced at the 2019 Budget. The new Labuan Business Activity Tax (Requirements for Labuan Business Activity) Regulations 2018 came into operation on 1st Jan 2019. With these changes, Labuan as a jurisdiction has been rated:

  • Not Harmful” based on the recent FHTP meeting held on 9th to 11th Jan 2019.
  • Largely Compliant” by Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange Information.




Trading Business ActivityFlat tax of MYR 20,000 under the Labuan Business Activity Tax Act 1990 would be abolished with effect from 1 Jan 2019.
The current tax rate of 3% of audited net profits will continue to remain.
Non Trading Business ActivityContinue to remain at zero tax rate
Combination of Non Trading and Trading Business Activity3% of audited net profits
Withholding TaxRemain exempted
Capital Gains TaxRemain exempted
Stamp duty on Labuan transactions /
Remain exempted
Income from intellectual property assets
held by Labuan entity
Subject to prevailing income tax rate under the Malaysian Income Tax Act 1967
Dealing with residentPermitted
Transaction in Ringgit MalaysiaPermitted
Interest payment67% deductible (previously 100% allowable)
Lease payment67% deductible (previously 100% allowable)
General reinsurance premiums100% deductible (no change)
Other type of payments3% deductible (previously 100% allowable)

Labuan entity carrying on these Labuan business activity shall have the number of full time employees and annual operating expenditure.

Further guidance will be issued by the Labuan FSA on the economic substance requirements including outsourcing procedures within the jurisdiction.

Labuan insurer, Labuan reinsurer, Labuan takaful operator, Labuan retakaful operator
Labuan underwriting manager or Labuan underwriting takaful manager
Labuan insurance manager or Labuan takaful manager
Labuan insurance broker or Labuan takaful broker
Labuan captive insurer or Labuan captive takaful
Labuan International Commodity Trading Company
Labuan bank, Labuan investment bank, Labuan Islamic bank or Labuan Islamic investment bank
Labuan trust company
Labuan leasing company of Labuan Islamic leasing company
Labuan credit token company or Labuan Islamic credit token company
Labuan development finance company or Labuan Islamic development finance company
Labuan building credit company or Labuan Islamic building credit company
Labuan factoring company or Labuan Islamic factoring company
Labuan money broker or Labuan Islamic money broker
Labuan fund manager
Labuan securities licensee or Labuan Islamic securities licensee
Labuan fund administrator
Labuan company management
Labuan International Financial Exchange
Self-regulatory organisation or Islamic self-regulatory organisation
Holding Company
Consequences of non-complianceFor licensing entities, non-compliance will not have any impact on the license as long as it meet with the requirements under the respective licencing legislations.
If the Labuan entity does not comply with the required substantive requirements in Labuan, the Labuan entity may not fall within the provisions of the Labuan Business Activity Tax Act 1990 to enjoy its benefits therein.

The information in this document is not advice of any kind but general information only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Kensington Trust Group recommends seeking professional advice on legal or tax issues affecting you before relying on it. While Kensington Trust Group tries to ensure that the content of this document is accurate, adequate or complete, it does not represent or warrant, express or implied, its accuracy, correctness, completeness or use of any of the information. Kensington Trust Group does not assume legal liability for any loss suffered as a result of or in relation to the use of this document. To the extent permitted by law, Kensington Trust Group excludes any liability for negligence, for any loss, including indirect or consequential damages arising from or in relation to the use of this document.