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Today's Headlines Tax

  • Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Exports from Indonesia Sluggish on Weak Demand

    Exports of crude palm oil (CPO) and CPO derived products from Indonesia in the first nine months of 2014 only reached 15 million tons, down 1.75 percent from the same period last year. The main cause for this disappointing performance is slowing economic growth in China and India resulting in reduced palm oil demand from these two giant economies. As a result of weak global demand, the CPO price has fallen to an average price of USD $712 per ton in September 2014, down 5.4 percent from the previous month.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 19 October 2014 Released

    On 19 October 2014, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website in the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic topics such as the performance of Indonesian stocks and the rupiah, foreign direct investments, an update on the coal mining sector, tax, the cement industry, palm oil, steel industry, and more.

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  • Tax Compliance & Enforcement in Indonesia Remain Troublesome

    Fuad Rahmany, Director General of Taxes at the Indonesian Finance Ministry, said that state revenue from taxes will not achieve the target that has been set in the Revised 2014 State Budget (APBNP 2014). Rahmany expects that only 94 percent of the target, or about IDR 1,008 trillion (USD $84 billion) will be achieved (this figure excludes import duties and excise duties). Classical problems that cause Indonesia’s low tax-to-GDP ratio include low tax compliance, the low number of tax officials, and weak government coordination.

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  • Malaysia Extends Zero Palm Oil Export Tariff, Indonesia May Follow Suit

    Malaysia announced that it has extended its zero export tariff for crude palm oil (CPO) until the end of the year in an attempt to boost sales. Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Douglas Uggah Embas said that this decision is aimed at preventing a further drastic fall in CPO prices. Palm oil futures declined by about 18 percent in 2014 amid an oversupply in combination with weak global demand. Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s top palm oil producers and exporters.

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  • Joko Widodo & Jusuf Kalla Propose Higher GDP Growth & Stronger Rupiah

    Newly elected presidential pair Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Jusuf Kalla, the pair that will guide Indonesia for the next five years starting from October 2014, propose to raise the target for economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy from 5.6 percent to 5.8 percent in 2015. Furthermore, the pair would like to set a stronger average rupiah rate at IDR 11,600 per US dollar over 2015 (from IDR 11,900 as set in the Revised 2015 State Budget). Several reasons are behind these ambitious targets.

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  • Tax in Indonesia: Indonesian Tax-to-GDP Ratio and Tax Compliance Still Low

    The structure of tax revenue in Indonesia has not changed in the past decade resulting in the country’s still low tax-to-GDP ratio of between 12 and 13 percent. Emerging countries such as Indonesia typically have a low tax-to-GDP ratio as the government’s financial management is inadequate (and plagued by corruption). However, it is important for Indonesia to raise this ratio in order to have more funds available to finance the budget deficit, infrastructure development, healthcare, education and other social programs to combat poverty.

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  • Indonesian Government Implements 3rd Fiscal Stimulus Package in July

    Indonesian Government Implements 3rd Fiscal Stimulus Package in July

    The Indonesian government plans to introduce its 3rd fiscal policy package, aimed at boosting investments in Indonesia, this month. Deputy Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said that it involves tax incentives (tax allowance and tax holidays). The government will also make it more attractive for foreign companies to re-invest profits in Indonesia. Coordinating Economic Minister Chairul Tanjung added that a dividend tax exemption for both domestic and foreign investors is possible, provided that dividend is re-invested in Indonesian assets.

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  • Proposed Luxury Goods Sales Tax on Imported Mobile Phones in Indonesia

    Both Indonesia's Ministry of Industry and Trade propose to impose a luxury goods sales tax (PPnBM) of 20 percent on all imported mobile phones. Previously, the Ministry of Industry said the new tax rule - if approved - would only apply to cellular phones with a price tag of at least IDR 5 million (USD $442). Now, however, all imported cell phones will be affected. This new tax policy aims to curb imports of mobile phones (thus impacting positively on the trade balance) and to support the development of a domestic mobile phone industry.

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  • Schroders Indonesia: Indonesian Investors More Confident in 2014

    Schroders Indonesia: Indonesian Investors More Confident in 2014

    According to a recent survey of Schroder Investment Management Indonesia, subsidiary of the British multinational asset management firm and a leading independent international asset management and private banking group, Indonesian investors feel more confident to invest in Indonesia in 2014. Director of Schroder Indonesia Michael Tjoajadi stated that confidence of Indonesian investors has increased due to improving economic conditions and the long-term prospects of Southeast Asia's largest economy.

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  • Conclusion G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

    Conclusion G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Sydney

    On Sunday (23/02), the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting was concluded. In a statement, the finance ministers and central bank governors committed to implement policies to grow collective GDP by over 2 percent above the current trajectory over the next five years. Realistically, these policies could mean an extra USD $2 trillion in global economic activity and tens of millions of additional jobs. Each country will deliver a comprehensive growth strategy as part of the Brisbane Leaders Summit in November.

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Latest Columns Tax

  • 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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  • Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia: Investment Instruments II

    Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia: Investment Instruments II

    The government of Indonesia is preparing various investment instruments in order to absorb the (potentially large) inflow of capital following the launch of the tax amnesty program earlier this month. Besides government bonds, state-owned enterprises' bonds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and property investment through private equity schemes (RDPTs), the government is also preparing trustees and zero coupon bonds. Without such investment instruments, bubbles are expected to appear due to the large inflow of funds into Indonesia's financial markets.

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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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  • Reforming Indonesia's Tax System is Key to Unlock S&P's Investment Grade

    Reforming Indonesia's Tax System is Key to Unlock S&P's Investment Grade

    In the past two weeks, two of the big international credit rating agencies released new reports about Indonesia's fiscal situation. Both agencies affirmed Indonesia's sovereign debt rating: Fitch Ratings kept Indonesia at BBB-/stable (investment grade class) and Standard & Poor's (S&P) maintained Indonesia at BB+/positive (highest junk level, one notch below investment grade). S&P's decision to keep Indonesia within the junk level category was met with disappointment among investors and Indonesian government officials but perhaps not that surprisingly.

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  • Fiscal Update Indonesia: Government Wants to Revise 2016 State Budget

    Fiscal Update Indonesia: Government Wants to Revise 2016 State Budget

    The government of Indonesia proposes to cut the state revenue target by IDR 88 trillion (approx. USD $6.5 billion) in the Revised 2016 State Budget. Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro announced the government has sent the proposal to the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee (Banggar) on Thursday (02/06). Expectations of lower government revenue is the result of weaker-than-estimated tax collection, the lower-than-initially-assumed Indonesian crude oil price as well as the lower-than- estimated oil and gas production in Indonesia.

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  • Government Revenue Collection Indonesia at 23% of 2016 Target in Early May

    Government Revenue Collection Indonesia at 23% of 2016 Target in Early May

    So far this year, realization of government revenue in Indonesia (up to 8 May 2016) has reached IDR 419.2 trillion (approx. USD $32 billion), roughly 23 percent of the full-year revenue target in 2016 (IDR 1,822.5 trillion). This result is weaker compared to last year when the government collected IDR 476.3 trillion in the period 1 January - 15 May 2015, or 27 percent of the full-year target. Meanwhile, government spending reached IDR 586.8 trillion between 1 January and 8 May 2016, or 28 percent of the full-year target (IDR 2,095.7 trillion), roughly the same as government spending during the same period last year.

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  • Tax System Indonesia: Plans to Cut Corporate Income Tax to 20%

    Tax System Indonesia: Plans to Cut Corporate Income Tax to 20%

    More changes to Indonesia's tax system are in the pipeline. Today (11/04), Indonesia's Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said Southeast Asia's largest economy plans to cut the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent this year (from 25 percent currently). According to Brodjonegoro a 20 percent corporate tax rate is more competitive and will attract investment. Indonesia's finance minister expressed this plan in a meeting with the nation's parliamentary commission overseeing taxes (an income tax rate cut requires parliamentary approval).

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  • Indonesia Does Not Revise 2016 Tax Revenue Target, Realistic or Not?

    Indonesia Does Not Revise 2016 Tax Revenue Target, Realistic or Not?

    Indonesia's Finance Ministry said it will not revise the tax revenue target set in the 2016 State Budget. The Indonesian government targets to collect IDR 1,360.2 trillion (approx. USD $100 billion) worth of tax revenue in 2016, a 28.9 percent rise from tax revenue realization in 2015. However, although it is good to aim high - hence setting an ambitious target - it is also important to be realistic (to avoid budgetary turmoil and gain fiscal credibility, important for Indonesia to be eligible for a credit rating upgrade). How realistic is Indonesia's 2016 tax revenue target?

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  • Infrastructure Development Indonesia: Gaining Momentum in 2016

    Infrastructure Development Indonesia: Gaining Momentum in 2016

    After having grown rapidly in the years 2010-2013, infrastructure development in Indonesia lost its momentum in 2014. This was due to limited available government funds, uncertainty caused by the legislative and presidential elections, and the nation's slowing economic growth. After Joko Widodo became Indonesia's seventh president in October 2014, it was expected that infrastructure development would revive. However, it didn't. But Widodo made one important move by seriously reducing energy subsidies, hence making more funds available for infrastructure development.

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