Indonesia reported set to ‘widen’ tax crackdown as amnesty ends

As Indonesia’s tax amnesty programme comes to an end tomorrow, its government is planning to keep the pressure on those of its citizens who are continuing to evade their tax obligations, Bloomberg has reported.

Indonesian authorities “plan to scrutinise credit-card data from banks, and compare [it] with tax reports”, Bloomberg said, adding that the amnesty had unearthed more than US$353bn (£282.3bn, €328.6bn) since it launched on 18 July of last year. This, it noted, had netted the country around US$9.4bn (£7.5bn, €8.7bn) in revenue.

As reported here in October, the Indonesian was considered unusual in that it eliminates the taxpayer’s principal tax debt, all administrative sanctions and tax crime sanctions if the taxpayer makes a ‘redemption payment’. The precise percentage of this payment, as a fraction of the total sum being declared, varied on the basis of when during the amnesty programme the declaration was made, with a generous incentive offered to those who declared earlier.

As predicted months ago, Singapore topped the list of countries where rich Indonesians choose to stash their cash and other assets, the Straits Times reports today, followed by the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands and China.

Singapore accounted for around 57% of the assets repatriated, the article noted. Last year, Singapore officials refuted what were said to be reports that the city-state was in some way looking to “thwart” Indonesia’s tax amnesty programme, ostensibly in an effort to keep the money in its financial institutions.

Ahead of CRS 

Indonesia’s tax amnesty comes ahead of the introduction of automatic information exchange by its tax authority with those of more than 100 other countries that, like it, are signing up to the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard regime.

Other countries that have also introduced tax amnesties in an effort to make the most of a predicted rush on the part of those with undeclared assets to bring them in from the cold, ahead of the introduction of the CRS, include Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

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