A businessman identified by his initials D.S.T., left, signs his arrest warrant for tax evasion on Monday, in this handout photo from the East Java Tax Office. (Antara)

Surabaya Businessman Arrested in Jakarta for Tax Evasion


OCTOBER 29, 2019

Jakarta. A Surabaya businessman has been arrested for "illegal nonpayment of tax" while traveling in Jakarta, a tax official said on Tuesday.

The man, identified by his initials D.S.T., has accumulated a tax debt of Rp 1.68 billion ($120,000) since April 2007, East Java tax office head Eka Sila Kusna Jaya told reporters in Surabaya.

He was arrested in Kayu Putih, East Jakarta, on Monday night by law enforcement personnel working under the Directorate General of Taxation.

Eka said the tax offender had ignored repeated attempts by his staff to collect payment. The arrest was the tax office's last resort after all previous legal measures had been fruitless, he said.

"We have tried [all sorts of method] to collect payment [from him], from issuing reprimands, attempting to collect the tax directly from him, requesting his travel ban [to the Immigration Office), trying to seize his assets to the last resort, arresting him," Eka said.

The temporary detention is aimed at forcing the tax offender to pay up and deliver a message to others not to evade taxes, he said.

The government has targeted a tax revenue of Rp 1,861 trillion next year, up 13.3 percent from this year's estimated revenue, and is aggressively pursuing more taxpayers and tax revenue sources – such as e-commerce and online advertisements – to pay up.

In an August interview with Beritasatu TV, tax director general Robert Pakpahan said there were 43 million non-corporate taxpayers out of Indonesia's 263 million population.

The term "non-corporate taxpayer" refers to a family, not the individual person.

"Taxpayers in Indonesia are not individual persons, but families. Indonesia has 63 million families and every year the number of taxpayers increases by 2 million to 2.5 million," Robert said.