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Today's Headlines Tax

  • Tax Amnesty Program Indonesia is a Success Except for Repatriations

    Contrary to our earlier predictions, Indonesia's tax amnesty program has been on a roll in September 2016. The program is designed to boost the government's tax revenue by offering tax evaders attractive rates to come clean and declare their previously undeclared assets (whether stashed at home or abroad in the so-called tax havens). Those who join the program can also repatriate offshore assets into Indonesia, into specifically prepared investment instruments where the funds need to stay for at least three years.

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  • Tax Revenue Realization Indonesia Remains Far from Target

    Tax Revenue Realization Indonesia Remains Far from Target

    Realization of non-oil & gas tax revenue reached IDR 705 trillion (approx. USD $54 billion) up to 26 September 2016, or 53.5 percent of the full-year non-oil & gas revenue target that was set in the Revised 2016 State Budget (IDR 1,318.9 trillion). Ken Dwijugiasteadi, the Finance Ministry’s Taxation Director General, said bleak non-oil & gas tax revenue realization is partly the result of lower income tax and value-added tax realization generated from imports. Both Indonesia's import and export performance have been declining for nearly two years.

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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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  • Bank Indonesia Pessimistic about Fruits of Tax Amnesty Program

    Bank Indonesia Pessimistic about Fruits of Tax Amnesty Program

    The governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, stated that he has become highly skeptical about the government's tax amnesty program that was launched in July. At a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday (07/09), Martowardojo said the central bank only expects to see IDR 21 billion (approx. USD $1.6 billion) in additional tax revenue through the amnesty program for the state and only USD $13.8 billion in repatriated funds. These new projections are significantly below the central bank's earlier projections.

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  • 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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  • Three Giant Businessmen Join Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program

    Three Giant Businessmen Join Indonesia's Tax Amnesty Program

    The ambitious tax amnesty program of the Indonesian government received support from three influential Indonesian businessmen. The first, James Riady, Chief Executive of the Lippo Group (and son of Mochtar Riady, the founding father of this huge conglomerate), joined the program by handing over his tax declaration documents to Indonesia's Tax Office on Friday (02/09). This declaration took place in front of an audience consisting of Indonesian press and therefore may cause some momentum for the controversial program that experienced a sloppy start.

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  • A Package of Cigarettes to Cost IDR 50,000 in Indonesia?

    A Package of Cigarettes to Cost IDR 50,000 in Indonesia?

    The Finance Ministry of Indonesia will study whether the price of a package of cigarettes can be raised to IDR 50,000 (approx. USD $3.8), almost twice as high as the current average price of a package of cigarettes in Indonesia. The price hike would help the government to reduce a looming tax shortfall and discourage people from consuming their death sticks. The Tobacco Atlas estimates that there are 53.7 million active adult smokers and 2.6 million active youth smokers in Indonesia. Hence, Indonesia is the third-largest cigarette consumer (after China and Russia).

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  • Fiscal Credibility: Indonesia's Tax Target Realistic in 2017 Budget Draft

    Fiscal Credibility: Indonesia's Tax Target Realistic in 2017 Budget Draft

    Indonesia has finally become more realistic in terms of setting its tax revenue target. In the 2017 State Budget draft proposal that was sent for approval by the central government to Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) earlier this week, it set the 2017 tax revenue target at IDR 1,271.7 trillion (approx. USD $97.1 billion), down 3.6 percent from the target of IDR 1,318.9 trillion worth of tax revenue in the 2016 budget. A more realistic tax revenue target will enhance Indonesia's fiscal credibility.

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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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