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Today's Headlines Tax Evasion

  • Indonesia Investigates Standard Chartered's "Guernsey Transfer"

    Indonesia Investigates Standard Chartered's "Guernsey Transfer"

    Indonesian authorities are currently investigating a suspicious transfer, involving USD $1.4 billion, by Standard Chartered Plc made in late-2015. British multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered held these funds - the majority on behalf of Indonesian clients - at Guernsey, a Channel Islands in the English Channel near the French coast.

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  • Indonesia & Hong Kong to Share Taxpayers' Bank Account Data

    Indonesia & Hong Kong to Share Taxpayers' Bank Account Data

    In its "war on tax evasion" Indonesia scored another victory by reaching an agreement ("Bilateral Competent Authority Agreement") with Hong Kong to share data of Indonesian taxpayers who hold accounts in the Asian wealth management hub. Indonesia's Tax Office assumes (or better: knows) there are plenty of wealthy Indonesians who take advantage of the low tax regime in Hong Kong and deliberately do not report these funds to Indonesian authorities.

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  • Cleaning Up Indonesia's Chaotic Mineral & Coal Mining Sector

    Cleaning Up Indonesia's Chaotic Mineral & Coal Mining Sector

    Efforts of Indonesian authorities to clean up the nation's mineral and coal mining industries met resistance. Various local mining companies that saw their Mining Business Permit (in Indonesian: Izin Usaha Pertambangan, or IUP) being revoked by Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry object to the government's move, despite authorities' claim that they are only revoking those permits of miners that have failed to obtain the mandatory clean and clear certificate (CnC).

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  • Tax & Transparency: No More Banking Data Secrecy in Indonesia?

    Tax & Transparency: No More Banking Data Secrecy in Indonesia?

    After decades of the "banking information secrecy" culture in Indonesia, local banks now seem more willing to share clients' financial information to tax authorities (both local and foreign authorities). Earlier, Indonesian banks were reluctant to disclose this information as such transparency could mean banks would lose valuable clients. These "big clients" supply over half of banks' deposits. However, the situation has now changed due to the government's tax amnesty program.

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  • Tax Buoyancy Indonesia: GDP Growth & Tax Revenue are Asynchronous

    Tax Buoyancy Indonesia: GDP Growth & Tax Revenue are Asynchronous

    There is concern about Indonesia's tax buoyancy. Tax buoyancy is the indicator that measures efficiency and responsiveness of revenue mobilization in response to growth in gross domestic product (GDP) or national income. While, Indonesia's GDP accelerated 5.02 percent (y/y) in 2016, the country's tax revenue realization only rose 4.2 percent (y/y) to IDR 1,104.9 trillion (approx. USD $83.1 billion). Since 2011 (when commodity prices plunged heavily) tax buoyancy has been weakening in Indonesia.

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  • Google & Indonesia Fail to Reach Tax Agreement in 2016

    Google & Indonesia Fail to Reach Tax Agreement in 2016

    US multinational technology company Google failed to reach a tax settlement with Indonesia's Tax Office in 2016 and therefore directors of Google Indonesia could risk a prison visit. In September 2016 Muhammad Hanif, Head of the Tax Office's Special Cases Department, said Google could face claims for five years of back taxes, including a bill of more than USD $418 million for full-year 2015 as the company is estimated to have paid less than 0.1 percent of the total income and value-added taxes it owed Indonesia in 2015. In Indonesia, Google generates income from online advertisement.

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  • Tax Amnesty Indonesia: Regulations for Asset Repatriations Eased

    Tax Amnesty Indonesia: Regulations Asset Repatriation Eased

    Indonesia's tax amnesty program, which was launched in July 2016 and will run until 31 March 2017, can be labeled a success. Up to 16 October 2016, a total of IDR 3,842.9 trillion (approx. USD $296 billion) worth of assets (either at home or abroad) have been declared to Indonesia's tax authorities nearly achieving the government's target of IDR 4,000 trillion. However, asset repatriations (from the so-called tax havens) are not a success, being far from the government's initial projection and therefore Indonesian authorities are now easing regulations.

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  • Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia: First Phase Extended?

    Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia: First Phase Extended?

    According to reports in Indonesian media, President Joko Widodo is willing to extend the deadline for the first phase of the government's tax amnesty program. Originally, this first phase, which sets the most attractive tax rates for those who decide to declare previously undeclared assets and - if desired - repatriate their offshore assets into Indonesia, was designed to end on 30 September 2016. Rosan Roslani, Chairman of Indonesia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin Indonesia), said Widodo is willing to extend the deadline on request of Indonesia's business community.

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  • Tax Amnesty Program of Indonesia Reviewed by Constitutional Court

    Tax Amnesty Program of Indonesia Reviewed by Constitutional Court

    Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati was at a court hearing in Jakarta on Tuesday (20/09) to defend the legality of the nation's tax amnesty program. In July 2016 legal activists, gathered within the One Justice Foundation (Yayasan Satu Keadilan) and Indonesian People's Struggle Union (Serikat Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia), filed for a judicial review at the Constitutional Court claiming that the program turns money laundering into a legal practice, protects criminals, teaches Indonesian citizens not to pay taxes, and constitutes an unfair program from a social point of view.

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  • Update Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program, Singapore Banks to Police

    Update Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program: Singapore Banks to Police

    The first period of Indonesia’s tax amnesty program is almost completed. This first period, which runs from July to 31 September 2016, offers the most attractive tax rates to those taxpayers who have not fulfilled their tax obligations in recent years. Through the government’s tax amnesty program they can declare previously undeclared assets and – if they have assets abroad (for example in the so-called tax havens) – they are encouraged to repatriate these funds into Indonesia through attractive tax incentives and immunity from prosecution, a move that met resistance in Singapore.

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Latest Columns Tax Evasion

  • Which Bank Accounts Are Checked by Indonesia's Tax Authorities?

    There exists some resistance against the Indonesian government's recently announced regulation that gives tax authorities access to information on accounts held at financial institutions, including bank accounts. The regulation aims to contribute to a more transparent financial system as well as to boost the government's tax revenue realization (tax evaders will need to be more careful now authorities can monitor private and corporate bank accounts).

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  • Indonesia's Tax Authorities Can Monitor Taxpayers' Bank Accounts

    Indonesia's Tax Office now has more power to check whether people and companies indeed pay taxes. Last week the Indonesian government basically scrapped the existence of banking data secrecy by introducing a new regulation that gives the nation's tax authorities access to information on accounts held at financial institutions, including bank accounts. The new regulation should contribute to a more transparent financial system and boost the government's (much-need) tax revenue realization. However, Indonesian parliament still needs to approve the new regulation.

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  • Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia Ended, What Are the Results?

    Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia Ended, What Are the Results?

    Indonesia's tax amnesty program ended on 31 March 2017, so now it is time to take a look at the results. Although Indonesia's amnesty program has been labelled as one of the most - if not the most - successful amnesty programs ever around the globe (in terms of asset declarations), there is plenty of room for disappointment. Based on data from Indonesia's Tax Office, less than one million Indonesians joined the program. For many nations this would be a great number. For Indonesia this number means tax evasion remains rampant, implying the government misses out on much-needed tax revenue.

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  • Budget Deficit of Indonesia Under Control Thanks to Tax Amnesty

    Budget Deficit of Indonesia Under Control Thanks to Tax Amnesty

    Indonesia's budget deficit in 2016 is estimated to have reached 2.46 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), below the government's forecast of 2.7 percent of GDP and at a safe distance from the legal cap of 3.0 percent of GDP that is stipulated by Indonesian law. This is a positive matter that is supported by modestly growing tax revenue. In full-year 2016 tax revenue realization reached IDR 1,105.2 trillion (approx. USD $83 billion), only 81.6 percent of the target that was set in the Revised 2016 State Budget (APBN-P 2016) but slightly higher than tax revenue realization in the preceding year.

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  • Indonesia Wants Google to Set Up Local Company & Pay Tax

    Indonesia Wants Google to Set Up Local Company & Pay Tax

    Indonesia's Communication and Information Ministry urges American multinational technology company Google to set up a permanent establishment in Indonesia. This way Google, which is owned by US multinational conglomerate Alphabet Inc, would need to start paying taxes to Indonesian authorities. Currently, Google only has a representative office in Indonesia, while transactions and revenue generated in Indonesia are booked at Google Inc's Asia Pacific headquarters located in Singapore.

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  • Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia Launched: Which Investment Instruments?

    Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia Launched: Which Investment Instruments?

    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.

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  • Indonesia's House Passes Tax Amnesty Bill & Revised State Budget

    In a plenary session on Tuesday (28/06), Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) passed the controversial Tax Amnesty Bill into law as well as the revised 2016 state budget. The Indonesian government will be relieved to see the Tax Amnesty Bill come into effect on 1 July 2016 (ending in May 2017) as it expects the bill to boost tax revenue this year by IDR 165 trillion (approx. USD $12.4 billion). Through tax incentives and the pardoning of tax crimes, the tax amnesty program makes it attractive for tax evaders to declare their offshore assets and repatriate these into Indonesia.

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  • Joko Widodo Orders Investigation into Indonesian Links in Panama Papers

    Joko Widodo Orders Investigation into Indonesian Links in Panama Papers

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called for an investigation into the Indonesian people and companies mentioned in the Panama Papers, the massive leak involving 11.5 million confidential documents from the database of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. These documents list names numerous people - including of political figures, businessmen, celebrities and sport stars - who have created secret shell companies and offshore accounts in tax havens (possibly in an effort to avoid tax obligations).

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  • Government of Indonesia to Cut Personal & Corporate Income Tax

    Government of Indonesia Plans to Cut Personal & Corporate Income Tax

    Good news for taxpayers in Indonesia. The Indonesian government plans to lower personal income tax, which currently ranges between 5 and 30 percent, in early 2016. Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said lower personal income tax will make it easier for taxpayers to comply with the tax law, while giving a boost to Indonesians' purchasing power. However, he declined to inform to what extent personal income tax will be cut as this is still being studied.

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  • What is the Problem with Tax Collection in Indonesia?

    What is the Problem with Tax Collection in 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.

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