After the Tax Amnesty Law was passed, the Indonesian government was urged to compile tax reforms and strengthen law enforcement so that tax amnesty would no longer occur in the future. During this time, according to the Executive Director of the Indonesian Tax Analysis Center (CITA), Yustinus Prastowo, the government ineffective in law enforcement due to regulatory, administrative, coordinating, and competence constraints.

“In fact, in taxation, we know expiration. The authority of the Director General of Taxes for collecting taxes or setting taxes is limited to five years. So there are practically a lot of taxpayers who cannot be inspected due to capacity constraints that cause expiration, “he said.

In addition, added Prastowo, the government has limited access to information both domestically, to banks, and abroad in the context of exchanging data with other countries.

The Tax Amnesty Law becomes relevant because trillions of rupiah in foreign funds that cannot be reached by the government can now be panned. However, before the Tax Amnesty Act ends on 31 March 2017, the government has homework that must be completed.

This law must be the last. This law must be placed as a bridge towards comprehensive tax reform in the form of strengthening the taxation system, regulations and institutions. In that context, the government still has homework to realize tax reform and enforce strong and firm law enforcement. If the government stops with tax amnesty, this will be dangerous, “explained Prastowo.

The danger referred to by Prastowo is that taxpayers have become increasingly free to avoid taxes and have the perception that the government is weak and cannot do anything to act against them.


Legal issues have come to the attention of a number of anticorruption activists after the Tax Amnesty Law came into force. Maryati Abdullah from the Publish What You Pay agency, for example. Maryati views that the government’s desire to increase revenue from tax amnesty actually ignores the legal aspects.

“People in the target of criminal law cases that should have been brought to the tax court, then their cases were bleached for paying a certain percentage of the ransom rate, I doubt further law enforcement. Did not rule out the possibility behind a tax criminal there is money laundering, “said Maryati.

He also highlighted the demoralization of taxpayers from the lower middle class due to tax forgiveness of rich people. “In the long run, this tax amnesty can demoralize the compliance of taxpayers. Because it turns out the country is more facilitating rich people who are not obedient. In my opinion, this hurts the public, “he said.

Some people I interviewed on the road reviewed it. They expressed concern over the forgiveness given by the government to Indonesians who avoid taxes. “I am an ordinary employee whose salary is deducted every month from paying taxes to the state. Then the state actually forgives those who mengemplang taxes? This is not fair, “said Susi, who was met on Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Central Jakarta.

Hartanto, who works at a foreign bank, is more critical. According to him, the ransom rate stipulated in the Tax Amnesty Act is very small compared to the assets brought by Indonesian citizens abroad to avoid taxes in Indonesia.

“With the tariff set, it is like we want to get something small but give so much leeway to entrepreneurs who bring assets abroad,” Hartanto said.

Additional income

However, the government through the Minister of Finance Bambang Brodjonegoro stressed that additional income from funds obtained from tax amnesty would be very meaningful for the state budget.

“With the tax amnesty, there is a potential for revenue to increase in our APBN, both this year and later years, which will make our APBN more sustainable. The state budget is more sustainable and the government’s ability to spend or to spend is also greater so that this will automatically help many development programs not only in infrastructure but also in improving people’s welfare, “said Bambang.

He explained that the ransom rate is not the same as the 30% tax rate for individuals because, the normal tax rate for individuals is levied on income, whereas the ransom rate in the Tax Amnesty Law is imposed on assets.

“It should also be clarified that not all who take part in amnesty are copyists or naughty taxpayers,” Bambang said.

Through the Tax Amnesty Act, taxpayers who are willing to move their assets from abroad will be given a ransom rate of 2% to 5%. Taxpayers who declare their assets abroad without transferring assets will be charged 4% to 10%.

When this law ends in March 2017, the state is expected to receive Rp165 trillion.
Despite additional funds from tax amnesty, the 2016 Revised State Budget appeared a deficit of Rp296.723 trillion or Rp2.35% of Gross Domestic Product.

In Media, Media Coverage | PWYP Indonesia | June 30th , 2016