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Today's Headlines Tax

  • World Bank Cuts Forecast for Indonesia's 2016 GDP Growth to 5.1%

    World Bank Cuts Forecast for Indonesia's 2016 GDP Growth to 5.1%

    In its March 2016 Indonesia Economic Quarterly, titled "Private Investment is Essential", the World Bank cut its forecast for Indonesia's economic growth in 2016 to 5.1 percent year-on-year (y/y) from an earlier estimate of 5.3 percent (y/y). This downward revision was made due to weaker-than-expected global economic conditions, further weakening commodity prices, and limitations to Indonesian government spending brought about by a looming shortfall in tax revenue.

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  • Delayed Tax Amnesty Bill Talks Impact on Indonesia's Tax Target

    Delayed Tax Amnesty Bill Talks Impact on Indonesia's Tax Target

    After it was decided to postpone talks between the Indonesian government and the House of Representatives (DPR) about the tax amnesty bill (talks have been postponed until April 2016), the government is in need of formulating a new tax revenue target as the late implementation of the tax amnesty program could mean the government will miss out on tens of trillions of rupiah (billions of US dollars) in tax revenue this year. Indonesia's tax amnesty bill, proposed last year, will make it easier for tax evaders to come clean and repatriate their funds into Indonesia.

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  • Tax in Indonesia: Asset Revaluation Generates Additional Tax Revenue

    Tax in Indonesia: Asset Revaluation Generates Additional Tax Revenue

    So far this year, a total of 108 Indonesian companies have taken advantage of the tax incentive offered by the government of Indonesia through its fifth economic stimulus package (released on 22 October 2015). This tax incentive makes it more attractive for companies to revalue their fixed assets. With higher-valued assets as well as larger capital, these companies can borrow more funds from banks, hence having more room to invest. This should then boost overall economic growth of Southeast Asia's largest economy.

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  • Tax Revenue Indonesia: Shortfall in 2015, Target 2016 Revised

    Tax Revenue Indonesia: Shortfall in 2015, Target 2016 Revised

    The government of Indonesia is in the final phase of revising its tax collection target of 2016 from IDR 1,360.2 trillion (approx. USD $98.5 billion) to IDR 1,226.9 trillion (approx. USD $89 billion). Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said the new 2016 tax target is based on a 10 percent year-on-year (y/y) growth of last year's tax realization plus an estimated IDR 60 trillion (approx. USD $4.3 billion) generated through the government's planned tax amnesty bill.

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  • Challenges Continue for Indonesia's Cigarette Producers

    Challenges Continue for Indonesia's Cigarette Producers

    The year 2015 has been a tough year for Indonesia's tobacco industry due to an 8.7 percent increase in excise on tobacco products in early 2015 and people's weakening purchasing power amid the country's economic slowdown. During the first nine months of 2015 sales of cigarettes in Indonesia fell 1.3 percent (y/y) to 232 billion cigarettes. Next year, challenges will remain as the Indonesian government prepares another tobacco tax hike (23 percent). However, people's purchasing power is estimated to improve as economic growth may accelerate.

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  • Indonesia's Plan to Impose Soda Excise Tax Meets Resistance

    Indonesia's Plan to Impose Soda Excise Tax Meets Resistance

    The plan of Indonesia's government to set an excise tax of between IDR 2,000 and IDR 3,000 (approx. USD $0.18) per liter on carbonated (soda) drinks met fierce resistance from several institutions. Based on Indonesian law, consumption of goods that have a negative impact on consumers' health or the environment need to be controlled and monitored. The Soft Drinks Industry Association (Asrim), Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (Gapmmi),  and Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) all consider this move to be negative for the country's soft drinks industry.

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  • Budget Deficit Indonesia Can Widen to 2.78% of Gross Domestic Product

    Budget Deficit Indonesia Can Widen to 2.78% of Gross Domestic Product

    As Indonesia's budget deficit may widen to 2.78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, the government is ready to seek USD $5 billion through multilateral loans and private placement. Scenaider Siahaan, Director for Strategy and Debt Portfolio at the Finance Ministry's Directorate General of Debt Management, said it involves standby loans that can be disbursed in the two weeks ahead if needed. The main reason why the budget deficit may be wider than expected is Indonesia's weaker-than-estimated tax revenue.

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  • Income Tax Cut & Street Vendors' Leasehold Certificates in Indonesia's 7th Package

    Income Tax Cut & Street Vendors' Leasehold Certificates in Indonesia's 7th Package

    In the seventh economic stimulus package, the Indonesian government cuts income tax (up to 50 percent) for employees in labor-intensive industries who earn less than IDR 50 million (approx. USD $3,600) per year. This facility, unveiled on Friday (04/12), aims to combat financial pressures on companies caused by the economic slowdown and next year's higher minimum wages (in order to avert a rise in unemployment as companies may feel the need to sack employees). This tax incentive will be offered for a period of two years and - if successful - will be extended.

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  • Budget Deficit of Indonesia Safe on non-Optimal Government Spending

    Budget Deficit of Indonesia Safe on non-Optimal Government Spending

    One advantage of Indonesia's non-optimal government spending is that it somewhat covers for the shortfall of tax revenue that is expected to occur in 2015. The shortfall in tax collection may reach up to IDR 250 trillion (approx. USD $18 billion) and this failure to meet the government's tax collection target in the 2015 State Budget was the reason behind the resignation of Sigit Priadi Pramudito as Director General of Indonesia's Tax Office. But with government spending estimated to reach only about 90 percent of this year's target, the budget deficit should not go beyond the 2.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) mark.

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  • Tax Collection to Miss Target in 2015, Indonesia's Tax Chief Resigns

    The Director General of Indonesia's Tax Office, Sigit Priadi Pramudito, unexpectedly resigned from his post on Tuesday (01/12) as it became increasingly clear that there will be a big shortfall, perhaps up to IDR 250 trillion (approx. USD $18 billion), in the country's tax collection this year. In the Revised 2015 State Budget the Indonesian government targets to collect IDR 1,294.3 trillion (approx. USD $94 billion). Pramudito is the first tax chief to resign from his post in the modern history of Indonesia.

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Latest Columns Tax

  • Government to Revise Indonesia's Tobacco Excise Tax Policy

    Government to Revise Indonesia's Tobacco Excise Tax Policy

    Every year Indonesia's Tax Office adjusts the excise tax on tobacco products. The adjustment is always made in consideration of the central government's tax revenue targets as well as the input of specific stakeholders (including pro-health lobby groups, or groups that defend the interests of tobacco manufacturers or farmers).

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  • 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?

    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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  • 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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