Awareness is the state or ability to perceive, feel, or be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. It is the state or quality of being aware of something (Wikipedia, 2010).
According to Cullis and Jones (1992), they highlighted the concept of false awareness in citizens, which are optimistic and pessimistic. Optimistic refers to the citizens who ‘underestimate the tax load incurred from public services’ (Csontos, Kornai and Toth, 1998). While, pessimistic are citizens who have overestimated tax burden or inaccurately estimate public service burden with the tax imposed to the public. The contradictive views have continually provided misconception on tax requirements, particularly when a new tax reform is to be introduced. Thus, this raises the need to increase awareness on what constitute GST.
Information is important to combat such fears and explain the rationale and benefits of VAT to the stakeholders (Sthanumoorthy, 2008). Indirectly, it can raise awareness of the implementation of VAT. Awareness not only readiness but potentially contribute to support the new system (Ely Raziah et al., 2005). According Mohani (2003), one of the basic ways to increase awareness by provides knowledge to the people.
For small and medium sized businesses in Malaysia in the study by Raziah Ely et al. (2005), found that the moderate level of awareness on what GST is in general, for example, meaning of GST. However, a very low level of awareness was concluded on more important aspects of GST, especially on how GST may benefit their businesses. Traders also felt they should to be educated to raise awareness as well as the type of government assistance preferred in order to help them survive in GST environment. To increase 100 percent compliance with tax, awareness regarding VAT required for each organization (PriceWaterCoopers India, 2006).