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Today's Headlines Tax Evasion

  • Update of Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program: Big Taxpayers Join

    Update of Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program: Big Taxpayers Join

    A total of 62 "big taxpayers" have joined Indonesia's tax amnesty program. According to local media their participation has resulted in a total of IDR 41.2 trillion (approx. USD $3.1 billion) worth of fund declarations and IDR 902 billion (approx. USD $68 million) in additional state revenue (tax). Meanwhile, the Tax Directorate General said there are more big Indonesian taxpayers ready to join the program. The tax office has formed a special team that calls the country's large businessmen on a daily basis to remind them about the tax amnesty program and their tax obligations.

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  • Singapore Denies Allegations Regarding Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program

    Singaporean authorities deny that the nation's banks offer incentives to Indonesian clients to keep their assets stashed in Singapore. Last week, reports started to circulate in local Indonesian media claiming that Singaporean banks offer to finance the difference between interest paid on the declaration of assets kept in Singapore and the interest paid on the assets repatriated to Indonesia. Indonesia is eager to see the repatriation of offshore funds (stashed in so-called tax havens) through the tax amnesty program. It is estimated that some USD $200 billion worth of Indonesian funds are kept in Singapore.

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  • Tax Amnesty Bill Indonesia: to Be Implemented Soon?

    Tax Amnesty Bill Indonesia: to Be Implemented Soon?

    Indonesia's House of Representatives and the government seem to agree that the Tax Amnesty Bill, a controversial proposal from the central government to make it attractive for (former) tax evaders to come clean and repatriate their funds to Indonesia, should come into effect soon, perhaps even as early as 1 July 2016. Indonesian lawmaker Supriyatno, who leads a parliamentary working group that discusses the bill, said all factions - except two - have reached a compromise on the Tax Amnesty Bill. A total of ten factions joined the discussions.

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  • Tax Amnesty Bill Indonesia Implemented in Late July 2016?

    Tax Amnesty Bill Indonesia Implemented in Late July 2016?

    Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro is optimistic that the Tax Amnesty Bill can be turned into law at the next meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR). Although not all 27 articles of the Tax Amnesty Bill have been discussed yet among both institutions, the most crucial articles have been debated and the DPR seems to agree that the bill will raise the government's tax revenue. The government and DPR agree that deliberations should be completed by 28 July 2016.

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  • Indonesia & Panama Papers: What & Who Are the Involved Companies & People?

    Indonesia & Panama Papers: What & Who Are the Involved Companies & People?

    There are plenty of Indonesian names mentioned in the Panama Papers, the massive leak of about 11.5 million confidential documents from the database of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. Here we present the top 20 of largest Indonesian companies mentioned in the leaked documents. Although it is widely known that offshore firms (special purpose vehicles) in tax havens are set up to engage in tax evasion, it needs to be emphasized that not all people and companies named in the documents are in fact involved in violations of the law.

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  • Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Bill Needs more Deliberation

    Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Bill Needs more Deliberation

    Due to the lengthy talks needed among the Indonesian government and House of Representatives (DPR) about the Tax Amnesty Bill, there may be a further delay in implementing the bill that was originally planned to be implemented in early 2016. The government's proposed Tax Amnesty Bill offers low tax rates (and protection from prosecution) to those who declare untaxed wealth and repatriate their funds back to Indonesia. Through this bill the government aims to finance the widening budget deficit and obtain fresh tax revenue.

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  • Tax Amnesty Bill Indonesia: Banking Sector Prepares for High Liquidity

    Tax Amnesty Bill Indonesia: Banking Sector Prepares for High Liquidity

    Local media in Indonesia report that the Indonesian government has a list of 6,000 names of Indonesians that are ready to repatriate their funds in order to take advantage of the tax incentive provided by the Tax Amnesty Bill. This controversial bill, which is currently being discussed by Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR), makes it attractive for tax evaders to repatriate their undeclared wealth into Indonesia as they are offered tax incentives and protection from prosecution.

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  • Panama Papers: World's Greatest Leak Shows Massive Tax Evasion

    Panama Papers: World's Greatest Leak Shows Massive Tax Evasion

    Not only in Indonesia but also around the globe tax evasion remains a major problem for governments and tax offices. This problem was again highlighted by the Panama Papers, the massive leak involving around 11.5 million confidential documents from the database of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. These documents make mention of political figures, businessmen, celebrities and sport stars who have created secret shell companies and offshore accounts in an effort to avoid tax obligations. World leaders have again vowed to combat tax evasion.

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  • Indonesia and the Panama Papers: Names and Numbers

    Reportedly, around 3,000 Indonesian individuals and companies are mentioned in the Panama Papers, the massive leak involving around 11.5 million confidential documents from the database of the world's fourth-largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. These documents show how political figures as well as celebrities, sport stars and businessmen exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson became the first victim of the leakage (he resigned on Tuesday). What about Indonesia and the Panama Papers?

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  • Indonesia's Tax Revenue Weak in Q1-2016, Plans Personal Income Tax Rate Cut

    Indonesia's Tax Revenue Weak in Q1-2016, Plans Personal Income Tax Rate Cut

    Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro announced on Tuesday (05/04) that Indonesia's tax revenue reached IDR 194 trillion (approx. USD $14.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2016, down 2.1 percent from tax revenue in the same period one year earlier. Brodjonegoro blamed this poor result on lower income from value-added taxes (VATs) due to tax restitution and people's low consumption amid sluggish economic growth. Meanwhile, he informed that Indonesia plans to cut the personal income tax, a move aimed at boosting tax compliance.

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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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