Taxation in Indonesia
|An aspect of fiscal policy|
Taxation in Indonesia includes income tax and goods and sales tax.
Indonesian taxation is based on Article 23A of UUD 1945 (1945 Indonesian Constitution), where tax is an enforceable contribution exposed on all Indonesian citizens, foreign nationals and residents who have resided for 183 cumulative days within a twelve-month period or are present for at least one day with intent to remain. Generally if one is present less than 120 days, then no tax is owed except on Indonesia source income. Some tax treaties may supersede this or defer to the Indonesia presence test for the year in question. Tax treaties deal with taxation of foreign source income for services rendered in Indonesia which are generally taxed if performed for 120+ days (depending upon treaty) even though one may not be a tax resident. Indonesia has a stratification of taxation including Income Tax, Local Tax (Pajak Daerah) and Central Government Tax.
The Indonesian Taxation Laws
The relevant eight fundamental taxation laws of Indonesia include:
- General Provisions and Taxation Procedures Law "Undang-undang Ketentuan Umum dan Tatacara Perpajakan/UUKUTp" Law No. 6/1983, amended by Law no.16/2000;
- Income Tax Law ("Undang-undang Pajak Penghasilan/UU PPh": Law No.7/1983, amended by Law No. 17/2000;ameded by law No 36/2008
- Value Added Tax VAT termed 'Goods and Services and Sales Tax on Luxury Goods' ("Undang-undang Pajak Pertambahan Nilai atas Barang dan Jasa dan Pajak Penjualan atas Barang Mewah"/UU PPN/PPn BM ): Law No. 8/1983, amended by Law No. 18/2000;
- Land Tax and Building Tax ("Undang-undang Pajak Bumi dan Bangunan - UU PBB"): Law No. 12/1985 amended by Law No. 12/1994;
- Warrant for Tax Collection ("Undang-undang Penagihan Pajak dengan Surat Paksa/UU PPSP") Law No. 19/1997, amended by Law No. 19/2000;
- Fees for Acquisition of Rights to Lands and Buildings ("Undang-undang Bea Perolehan Hak atas Tanah dan Bangunan/UU BPHTB") Law No. 21/1997 amended by Law No. 20/2000;
- Tax Court Law ("Undang-undang Pengadilan Pajak/UU PP"): Law No. 14/2002;
- Stamp Duty ("Undang-undang Bea Meterai/UU BM") in short, Law Number 13 of 1985.
Indonesian Taxation law provides the following definitions to clarify whom exactly is obligated to pay tax:
Individuals or statutory bodies which meet relevant criteria stipulated, including certain tax collectors or withholders.
Statutory bodies are defined by Indonesian Taxation Law as groups of persons and/or capital which constitutes a unit. These are more clearly defined as such entities undertaking or not undertaking businesses, covering limited liability companies, limited partnership companies, other companies, state or regional administration-owned companies in whatever names and forms, firms, joint companies, cooperatives, pension funds, partnerships, groups, foundations, mass organisations, social and political organisations or organisations of the same type, institutions, permanent establishments and other forms of statutory bodies.
Companies and entrepreneurs are defined in the context of Indonesian Taxation Law as those in their business activities or works/jobs produce goods, import goods, export goods, undertake trading businesses, utilize goods, provide or utilize services from regions outside the customs area.
The Indonesian Tax Period is defined as one calendar month or other periods stipulated by a decision of the Minister of Finance at the maximum of 3 (three) calendar months (quarters). Tax Year shall be the period of 1 (one) calendar year unless taxpayers use accounting years different from the calendar year.
Tax Payments shall be letters used by taxpayers to pay or remit tax due to the state cash through Post Offices and/or state- or regional administration-owned banks or other payment point appointed by the Minister of Finance.
The penalties for Tax Evasion and Avoidance are very strict in Indonesia. For Underpaid-Tax, Additional Underpaid-Tax, Overpaid-Tax and Nil-Tax Assessments- which may be received by the debtor in the form of letters, warrants and administrative sanctions. Tax Credits for over-taxation or overpayment is withheld until the subsequent year- as payouts are not issued within the same financial year. Independent works/jobs shall be jobs executed by individuals having special expertise in a bid to earn income not bound by certain working relations.
Appeals against the Taxation Department may be arbitrated via the Court of Appeals at taxpayer expense.
Indonesia has a series of progressive sliding rate taxes for all categories. Furthermore, as a developing nation, much economic activity is done at the 'cottage' level where sales and services taxation are tax exempt.
Indonesia's taxations system recognises the economic reality of the majority poorer citizens and the poor are exempt from almost any taxation. The underlying ethic of "gotong-royong"- "neighbourly [sic moral] help" is applied where the more fortunate wealthier are enforced to meet their moral obligation of a heavier burden of tax- regardless of arbitrary arguments to its fairness.
The tax-free poverty threshold for Indonesian income earners is also dependent on regions as there exists some disparity between purchasing power of the Rupiah between regions and intra-regionally between larger urban cities and smaller ones. The Capital, Jakarta is considered the most expensive city in term of all goods, services and wages.
Income taxation is subject to Regional (Propinsi) government regulations defined by the economic realities of that particular area. As mentioned above, the poorer denizens are exempt from almost all taxation.
|Tax Free||Up to Rp36,000,000||0%|
|Band I||Up to Rp50,000,000||5%|
|Band II||Rp50,000,000 to Rp250,000,000||15%|
|Band III||Rp250,000,000 to Rp500,000,000||25%|
|Band IV||Above Rp500,000,000||30%|
Although rates are Regionally variable, for the sake of illustration income tax basically employs a progressive rate, commencing at 10% gross salary income per annum, sliding to 30% per annum. Regulations are being debated as of 2008 to include income from shares, dividends, trusts and such related.
For example, the most urbanised and industrialised region, DKI Jakarta (Special Administrative Region of Greater Municipality of Jakarta), income taxation commences with salaries greater than one million Rupiah (IDR) per calendar month, at a rate of 10%, which slides progressively to 40%.
Companies in Indonesia are taxed at a rate of 25%, for both domestic and international sourced income. Resident Indonesian companies are required to withhold tax at a rate of 20% from payments to foreign companies.
Goods and Services Taxation
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) is levied at the rate of approx 10% at point of sales, by major vendors. Sales and services tax are exempt from cottage economies and industries.
Land and Constructions Tax
Land Tax and Tax for the buildings constructed there upon must paid annually, or may be paid via arrangement in ten-year blocks by Indonesian land title deed-holders, pursuant to relevant criteria for exclusions. In general terms, this tax is applicable mainly to those of the middle classes and upwards. Land holding businesses must also pay this tax.
Land and Constructions thereupon are calculated at a value calculated by the Regional government- which is less than real market worth. This calculated value has the caveat of being a legally non-negotiable purchase price if the Government wishes to procure said land. In Jakarta, land tax is 10% of Government calculated value.
Non Indonesians may not legally own land but may arrange long-term assured leases from the Indonesian Central Government. As such, Foreign Nationals may not subject to the Land Tax obligation of Indonesians. Exemptions from Land Tax exist for poorer society. Land Tax calculations are considered a highly specialised skill- most especially as the punishments and sanctions for false reportage are very severe and indeed costly.
Passenger Vehicle Tax is required to be paid by all owners, the rationale being those fortunate enough to afford a motor vehicle can afford to subsidise their poorer brethren who rely on far less luxurious public transportation. Again, Regional Government legislates the specific definitions regarding this tax.
For the city of Jakarta, the city with the greatest vehicle ownership, most congested city, 1% of current vehicle real agreed market is due annually. Furthermore- passenger vehicles with an engine capacity greater than 4 cylinders are taxed again and as are those mass greater than 1500 kilogrammes (commonly four-wheel drives and SUV's).
Transportation and logistics vehicles, trucks/lorries, buses, vans and utility pick-ups are taxed according to axle number, vehicle mass and maximum safe gross loaded weight. Maximum loaded weight inspections are frequent and random and joked colloquially as the Police's cash-cow.
Petroleum is taxed at a rate of approximately 25%- though remains cheaper than neighbouring developed nations such as Australia or Singapore.
- Indonesian Tax Directorate General, Brochure: "Sudah Punya NPWP? Segara Sampaikan SPT Tahunan PPh Anda (Do you have a tax number? File your Tax Return Now)" in Indonesian
- Indonesian Directorate General of Taxes English website
- Indonesian Specialists Taxation Forum- free software relevant to Indonesian Taxation available online (in Indonesia)
- The 1st Indonesian Tax Community Media - available online (in Indonesia)