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Today's Headlines Tax

  • Indonesia Plans to Adjust Non-Taxable Income to Local Minimum Wage

    Indonesia Plans to Adjust Non-Taxable Income to Local Minimum Wage

    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.

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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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  • Finding a Realistic Tax to GDP Ratio for Indonesia's 2018 Budget

    Finding a Realistic Tax to GDP Ratio for Indonesia's 2018 Budget

    According to Ken Dwijugiasteadi, Taxation Director General at Indonesia's Finance Ministry, a tax-to-GDP ratio at 11 percent would be realistic for Indonesia's 2018 state budget (but would still require big efforts from the government). In a plenary session of Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) earlier this week, regarding the 2018 state budget proposals, some called for a sharp increase in the tax-to-GDP ratio to 13 percent. However, considering the expected tax revenue growth, this ratio would be highly unrealistic.

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  • What is the Impact of Trump's Corporate Tax Reforms on Indonesia?

    What is the Impact of Trump's Corporate Tax Reforms on Indonesia?

    The economies of Indonesia and other countries in Southeast Asia may feel the impact of US President Donald Trump's impending tax reforms. Currently markets are focused on these reforms. On Wednesday (26/04) Trump is set to propose steep cuts in US corporate taxes (from 35 percent to 15 percent) and the tax rate on offshore earnings that are repatriated (from 35 percent to 10 percent), while individual taxes will be simplified. These proposals will require US Congress approval before implementation.

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  • Property Sector of Indonesia Subdued, Tax Amnesty to Impact?

    Property Sector of Indonesia Subdued, Tax Amnesty to Impact?

    After the ending of Indonesia's tax amnesty program, property players in Southeast Asia's largest economy remain optimistic that inflows of fresh funds - originating from the tax amnesty program - will give a boost to Indonesian property sector in the second half of 2017. This should then cause some momentum, meaning property developers dare to kick-start new projects. Considering weak demand for property in Indonesia over the past couple of years, many local property developers have been postponing projects.

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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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  • What is Indonesia's Progressive Tax on Idle Land Ownership?

    What is Indonesia's Progressive Tax on Idle Land Ownership?

    Sofyan Djalil, Indonesian Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning, says the progressive tax on land that is deemed idle will not disturb the investment climate of Indonesia because industrial estates and land that has a clear development purpose are exempted from this tax (this includes land destined for property development projects). Through the progressive land tax the government wants to combat speculative land buying, something that has become a problematic phenomenon in Indonesia.

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  • Tax Revenue Target Indonesia 2017: Government Eyes 16.8% Growth

    Tax Revenue Target Indonesia 2017: Government Eyes 16.8% Growth

    The government of Indonesia is confident that it will collect IDR 1,498.9 trillion (approx. USD $112.7 billion) in tax revenue in 2017, up 16.8 percent from tax revenue realization of IDR 1,283.6 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile, in its latest Indonesia Economic Quarterly, released earlier this week, the World Bank stated that the 2017 State Budget of Indonesia is a more realistic one (compared to tax revenue targets in recent years). However, it emphasized further tax administration and policy reforms are required to meet the new target and to further improve fiscal policy credibility.

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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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  • 2nd Phase Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program Ended, What's the Score?

    2nd Phase Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program Ended, What's the Score?

    The second phase of Indonesia's tax amnesty program ended on 31 December 2016 and therefore it is interesting to take a look at the results during this phase. In short, results are mixed. We had already reported that in terms of asset declarations, the initial target of the program was already achieved a couple of weeks ago. However, in terms of asset repatriations (into Indonesia), the program has disappointed so far, and, unless the government will introduce new policies or incentives, will not achieve the target.

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Latest Columns Tax

  • Google & Indonesia Agree on Tax Settlement after Long Dispute

    Google & Indonesia Agree on Tax Settlement after Long Dispute

    Although the amount remains a secret, the government of Indonesia and Alphabet's Google finally managed to reach an agreement on the tax settlement after a long dispute that started in mid-2016. The news was confirmed by Indonesian Finance Ministry Sri Mulyani Indrawati. The dispute started because Indonesian authorities felt the so-called "over-the-top content" giants, referring to those companies that deliver content through Internet, deliberately did not set up permanent establishments in Indonesia in order to avoid taxes. Besides Google, other examples are Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Minimum Threshold for Indonesia's "Bank Openness Law" Revised

    Minimum Threshold for Indonesia's "Bank Openness Law" Revised

    The government of Indonesia listened to the criticism that emerged after it decided to set a rather low threshold for bank accounts that are to become subject to the automatic bank information exchange program. Through Finance Ministry regulation PMK No. 70/PMK.03/2017 Indonesia's tax authorities obtain access to information on accounts held at financial institutions, including bank accounts. This new regulation makes it possible to check whether tax payers indeed fulfill their tax obligations.

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

    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 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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  • Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program to End Soon, Any Structural Impact?

    Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program to End Soon, Any Structural Impact?

    Indonesia's tax amnesty program will end soon. The nine-month program was designed to finish on 31 March 2017. Although the program has become the world's most successful tax amnesty program, it will fail to solve Indonesia's tax revenue collection problems. And with tax revenue being the largest source for public spending capacity, low tax compliance in Southeast Asia's largest economy obstructs more rapid development of the Indonesian economy.

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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's Tax Amnesty Program: Calls for Celebration or Pessimism?

    Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program: Calls for Celebration or Pessimism?

    After the Constitutional Court had already confirmed earlier this week that Indonesia's tax amnesty program is not in violation of the nation's constitution, there occurred a second reason for celebration related to the tax amnesty program: the total of declared assets up to Wednesday (14/12) had surpassed the government's target of IDR 4,000 trillion (approx. USD $301 billion), about 3.5 months before the end of the program. Despite this success there remains reason for pessimism.

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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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  • Weak Tax Revenue Indonesia in 1H-2016, Spotlight on Tax Amnesty

    Weak Tax Revenue Indonesia in 1H-2016, Spotlight on Tax Amnesty

    Indonesia's tax revenue realization in the first half of 2016 was disappointing. According to the latest data, Southeast Asia's largest economy collected a total of IDR 518.4 trillion (approx. USD $39.6 billion) worth of tax revenue (including customs and excise) in the first six months of 2016, down 3.3 percent (y/y) from tax revenue realization in the same period one year earlier, and only 33.7 percent of total targeted tax revenue (IDR 1,539.2 trillion) set in the revised 2016 State Budget. The disappointing performance is mainly due to weak tax income from the oil and gas sector.

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