Tax Amnesty Won't Let Corruptors Off the Hook

BY :TABITA DIELA

JUNE 22, 2017

Jakarta. Investigations into criminal cases, including corruption cases, will continue even if the person involved has signed up for the government's tax amnesty program, a senior tax official said on Thursday (22/06).

"If the criminal case is not related to tax, the [investigation] will continue," Tax Directorate General spokesman Hestu Yoga Saksama told the Jakarta Globe.

Hestu's comment came after local news outlet Riaupos.co reported that Honggo Wendratno, a suspect in an embezzlement and money laundering case involving Trans-Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI), may have signed up for the government's much-lauded tax amnesty program.

Honggo is the former owner of TPPI, a company appointed by upstream oil and gas regulator BP Migas to sell its condensate — which went against company regulations.

The businessman, who owns Tuban Petrochemical Industries, the controlling shareholder in TPPI, is known to be living in Singapore. His name was in Globe Asia's 150 Richest List with a net worth of $185 million in 2016.

Tax officials are forbidden by law from revealing the names of people who join the tax amnesty program unless they have come out to the public.

"If a person signs up for the tax amnesty, only his tax-related crimes will be forgiven but not his corruption case," Yustinus Prastowo, the executive director of Center for Indonesian Taxation Analysis (CITA), said.

Indonesia's record-breaking nine-month tax amnesty program which ended in March managed to net nearly one million taxpayers who declared more than $367 billion of previously unreported assets.

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