The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sun, March 29 2015, 10:34 PM

A number of NGOs united under the Forum Pajak Berkeadilan (FPB), or Fair Tax Forum, on Sunday criticized the government’s tax amnesty plan deemed likely to give light sentences to tax and financial crime perpetrators.

“The government needs to examine further the plan or drop it if need be,” read the forum’s statement as quoted by Antara in Jakarta on Sunday.

FPB, which is comprised of the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia, Perkumpulan Prakarsa and the Indonesia Legal Roundtable (ILR), said that while Indonesia wanted to provide tax amnesty schemes, Australia was aggressively pursuing and taking tough legal actions against tax crime perpetrators.

According to FPB, the tax amnesty plan is triggered by the government’s despair overboosting tax revenues, which has never met State Budget (APBN) targets.

In 2008, the FPB said, the government issued a “sunset policy”, which managed to increase the number of taxpayers by 5.6 million and annual tax return forms (SPT) by 804,814, which also led to a value-added tax (PPN) revenue increase of Rp 7.46 trillion (US$566.96 million).

Currently, the obedience level of taxpayers has been stagnant and the realized tax revenues were getting lower, while the tax ratio did not increase significantly, the forum said.

“The situation can worsen if the government implements its tax amnesty policy without implementing tax administration and system improvements,” according to the FPB.

Earlier, Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) head Harry Azhar Azis warned that a tax amnesty policy must be supported with mechanisms and regulations that could ensure equal and just principles for taxpayers who were obedient and those who were not.

“Tax amnesty could not be separated from justice issues for taxpayers because it is probable that obedient taxpayers would feel hurt by the tax amnesty because of disobedient taxpayers,” said Harry.

He said the tax amnesty could be conducted by giving a disobedient taxpayer a limited tax clemency. For instance, the government would pardon his or her tax crimes but he or she would be still required to fulfill his or her main tax obligations, tax interests or fines, he said. (ebf)(+++)

Source : TheJakartaPost