The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has given about 36,000 businesses a further extension to Aug 24 to file their Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns.

The returns are for the April 1 - June 30 period. The previous deadline for the filing was Aug 14.

Customs Department Director General Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad said the extension was to enable traders to overcome any problem they might be facing in filing the GST returns.

He told reporters this after officiating the 77th Meeting of the All-Malaysia Customs Directors here today.

He said the department was willing to assist businesses if they faced problems in filing the GST returns.

On the meeting, Khazali said a number of new plans would be implemented in relation to the GST which took effect from April 1.

"We also used the meeting to discuss ways to combat smuggling activities," he added.