The Esports Kuala Lumpur Association ( ESKL ) has launched a campaign to urge more awareness of how to pay taxes related to esports.
Hisham Darus, President of the ESKL says that many esports players aren’t aware that a lot of their income is taxable.
“So beginning 2021, ESKL will organize championships and activities together with tax-paying awareness campaigns among e-sports enthusiasts to inform them that the prize money they win does not solely belong to them”, Darus said.
“A part of the winnings needs to be handed over to the country for its development, especially to support e-sports development,” he said in a media conference.
According to him, ESKL would be working with the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and Finance Ministry to launch this campaign.
Darus confirmed the campaign was about spreading awareness, rather than implying that esports players were all trying to commit tax evasion. According to him, many would end up being contacted by the Inland Revenue Board, being made to pay their dues.
The taxes related to esports primarily applies to deals like sponsorships, which means that only big career esports athletes will have to worry about filing their taxes correctly.
While taxation may sound like a bad word at first, it’s a great sign for the growing esports community in Malaysia. Taxation is a sign that the government is taking the industry seriously, and income made from the sector can be reinvested into developing it further.
According to Darus, the esports sector in Malaysia could rake in as much as RM100 Million if there was more awareness among esports players about paying their taxes.