Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government was considering a second tax amnesty to accommodate those who had missed the chance to come clean in the first amnesty a year ago. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Iqbal)
Indonesia Mulls Second Tax Amnesty
AUGUST 03, 2019
Jakarta. The government is considering a second tax amnesty to accommodate those who had missed the chance to come clean in the first amnesty a year ago, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Friday.
"There is nothing impossible in this world; everything is possible. We'll see if that's the best," Sri Mulyani said after a meeting with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), as quoted by Antara.
The minister said the first tax amnesty was a bit disappointing as it only a million new taxpayers registered – half the government target. Although the government offered generous tax cuts on unreported assets to encourage participation, it lacked a database of assets the government could use to coerce more tax evaders to change their ways.
The tax office has received information on financial and nonfinancial assets from 90 countries, including Indonesians' favorite tax havens, Singapore and Hong Kong, after the Automatic Exchange of Information took effect on Sept. 31 last year.
"I did not know the data, but now I do. And then came the aspiration for a second tax amnesty," Sri Mulyani said.
The minister said a second tax amnesty could form part of the broader tax reform package promised by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The president announced earlier that he wanted to cut corporate income tax and simplify the country's tax codes, among others.
"We are now weighing up everything. We will see if the situation makes it possible," the minister said.
The government previously warned that it would impose stringent penalties on those continuing to hide their assets after the amnesty, but Sri Mulyani's latest comment shows that this stance has softened.
The minister said many local entrepreneurs have approached her to express regret for not taking advantage of the 2016-2017 tax amnesty program.
"They are asking the government to have another tax amnesty and now I am considering their requests," she said.
Kadin chairman Rosan Roeslani said many businesspeople were skeptical of the first amnesty. "They know all about it now and understand the benefits," he said.