Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that global debt is now higher than before the global financial crisis. The IMF estimates that global debt reached USD $164 trillion, equivalent to 225 percent of global GDP, with China being a key booster over the past decade. The IMF warned that nations with high government debt are vulnerable to a sudden tightening of global financing conditions. This could disrupt market access and jeopardize economic activity.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 1,298,608 confirmed infections, 35,014 deaths (23 February 2021)
23 February 2021 (closed)
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Indonesia's tax authorities are planning to revise the non-taxable income regulation again in an attempt to improve the nation's low tax ratio. Last year the government of Indonesia raised non-taxable income by 50 percent from IDR 36 million (approx. USD $2,700) to IDR 54 million (approx. USD $4,060), per year, in a bid to strengthen people's purchasing power and encourage household consumption. However, considering local minimum wages vary across the country's 34 provinces, the nation-wide non-taxable income level of IDR 54 million causes some problems.
The Director General of Indonesia's Tax Office, Sigit Priadi Pramudito, unexpectedly resigned from his post on Tuesday (01/12) as it became increasingly clear that there will be a big shortfall, perhaps up to IDR 250 trillion (approx. USD $18 billion), in the country's tax collection this year. In the Revised 2015 State Budget the Indonesian government targets to collect IDR 1,294.3 trillion (approx. USD $94 billion). Pramudito is the first tax chief to resign from his post in the modern history of Indonesia.
Bambang Brodjonegoro, Indonesian Finance Minister, announced on Wednesday (27/05) that the Indonesian government may raise the income threshold - which separates individuals’ income that is taxable from non-taxable income - by almost 50 percent. Although this move would imply less tax revenue for the government, it would strengthen the purchasing power of the less fortunate Indonesians and can somewhat boost economic activity in an economy that has been plagued by slowing economic growth since 2011.
On Monday (11/05) it was reported - quoting an Indonesian tax official - that Indonesian President Joko Widodo had already ordered to cut the country’s corporate tax rate from 25 percent currently to below 18 percent in a bid to attract more investment and to make Indonesia’s business environment more competitive (for example, Singapore’s corporate tax is currently 17 percent). One day later, however, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro stated that, if the corporate tax is to be revised, it will be next year at the earliest.
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Without giving too much insight into the details and regulations, Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched the tax amnesty program on Friday (01/07) during a speech in front of hundreds of businessmen and officials at Indonesia's tax office headquarters in Jakarta. The tax amnesty program - approved by the House of Representatives in late June - is a strategy to boost state tax income by (temporarily) granting amnesty as well as offering attractive incentives to (former) tax evaders. In return, the tax dodgers have to declare and (if wanted) repatriate their offshore assets into Indonesia.
A tax amnesty bill, which protects corruptors from prosecution and penalties when bringing overseas funds back to Indonesia and fulfill tax obligations, will soon be discussed among Indonesia's government and the House of Representatives (DPR). A tax pardon is expected to result in enhanced tax collection next year. According to the latest data from Indonesia's Finance Ministry's Tax Directorate General, the country only managed to collect IDR 686 trillion (approx. USD $51 billion), or 53 percent of its 2015 tax revenue target, in the period 1 January - 5 October 2015.
A high positioned government official said that the government of Indonesia plans to cut corporate tax gradually from 25 percent currently to below 18 percent in a bid to make Indonesia a more lucrative place to conduct business. Luhut Panjaitan, President Joko Widodo’s Chief of Staff, confirmed that Widodo has already ordered this latest tax move. Over the past few weeks we have seen the announcement of a number of new tax policies as the government aims to boost tax collection by 30 percent in 2015.
In the revised state budget, Indonesia's government has lowered its forecast for tax revenue in 2013. Originally, the government expected to receive IDR 1,193.0 trillion (USD $122.4 billion) but the figure has been tuned down to IDR 1,139.3 trillion (USD $116.9 billion). Minister of Finance Chatib Basri stated that the forecast for tax revenue has been revised down by IDR 55.1 trillion, while the figure for export duties has been raised by IDR 1.4 trillion. Indonesia's tax-to-GDP ratio in 2013 has been changed to 12.11 percent from 12.87 percent.
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