Indonesian tax revision raises grouses, finance ministry revises plan

According to reports, the Finance Ministry said the revision was pulled following the feedback from related stakeholders.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Uproar from stakeholders - micro, small and medium enterprises have led the Indonesian government to revise its plan to examine financial data of about 2.3 million bank accounts by the year end. The Jakarta Post, quoting the Finance Ministry said the revision was pulled following the feedback from related stakeholders -- allowing the policy to reflect the principle of fairness.

The government, through its Tax Office, will only require those with bank accounts with a minimum balance of Rp 1 billion to be subjected to the new policy. In a statement released by the ministry, it said the policy took into account an easier administrative process for financial institutions to implement the policy.

Following the revision, 496,000 or so bank accounts are subject to the tax examination, a lower amount from the initial target of 2.3 million bank accounts. The ministry reiterated that the tax examination was targeted to collect detail information in line with international standards which will allow Indonesia to take part in financial information exchanges with other countries.

Indonesia, together with 105 other nations have committed to enforce a larger access to taxpayer's financial accounts to meet the compulsory reporting standards within the Automatic Exchange of Information portal between tax authorities by next year. It is aimed at fighting tax avoidance as well as evasion.

In addition to that, the ministry said legal sanctions will be issued to tax officers who are found to leak or use tax payers details for purposes beyond tax compliance.

On Monday, the Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani announced that the Directorate General of Taxation was prepped to oversee financial data of bank accounts with a minimum balance of Rp200 million.

Sri Mulyani said the accounts would amount to 1.14% of the total savings nationwide, with a big amount of the savings are under Rp100 million and those with an account balance between Rp 100 million and Rp 200 million. She also added that the tax office would improve its systems to prepare for the increased workload while putting in place a ready system and hiring an addition of tax officers.

According to data by the Deposit Insurance Corporation, as of February, 1.29 million customers holds account balances between Rp 200 million and Rp 500 million. Over 519,000 customer accounts stood at a balance between Rp 500 million and Rp 1 billion while 257,000 accounts recorded an account balance between Rp 1 billion and Rp 2 billion.

The data also showed that 154,000 individuals hold an account balance of Rp 2 billion and Rp 5 billion while 84,514 have an account balance of more than Rp 5 billion.