Prabowo Subianto

Tax Office Mulls investigation

JAKARTA (TheInsiderstories) – Indonesian tax authorities reportedly intend to follow up on information containing names of figures who allegedly store their wealth secretly in offshore tax havens. These are names previously mentioned in the leaked ‘Paradise Papers’ document published by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Based on leaked documents, three Indonesians – Tommy Soeharto, Mamiek Soeharto and Prabowo Subianto – are on the list of the world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sports that are alleged to have sheltered their wealth in offshore tax havens.

The three prominent figures are however yet to make any public statement in response to the report, which has been widely published by local media.

‘We will follow up on any data or information from assorted sources, including the very latest. We will try to obtain more comprehensive and detailed data as part of our efforts to ensure taxpayer compliance,’​ Directorate General of Taxation spokesman Hestu Yoga Saksama said in a statement on Monday, Nov. 6.

T​he t​ax office is responsible to ensure that taxpayers declare all of their wealth in their annual tax reports.​ ​He stressed that tax officers were not allow to publicize taxpayer data, as this was prohibited under Law on the General Provisions of Taxation.

Saksama admitted, however, that Indonesia could not do much to investigate such information independently, because the country will be joining the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in September 2018.

Indonesia’s plans to exchange tax information with tax authorities worldwide from September 2018 could push taxpayers to repatriate their assets.

ICIJ and 95 media partners explored 13.4 million files leaked from a combination of offshore law firms and company registries in some of the world’s most secretive countries.

The files were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with ICIJ.

The Paradise Papers documents include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.

The leaked documents include files from the smaller, family-owned trust company, Asiaciti, and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions.

The Paradise Papers reveal offshore interests and activities of more than 120 politicians and world leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II, whose private estate indirectly invested in a rent-to-own loan company accused of predatory tactics.

At least 13 allies, major donors and Cabinet members of U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s regime appear, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s interests in a shipping company that makes millions from an energy firm whose owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a sanctioned Russian tycoon.

The leaked files from Appleby, the offshore law firm, include details of tax planning by nearly 100 multinational corporations, including Apple, Nike and Uber.

The Joko Widodo’s government completed the tax amnesty program early this year, with a target to raise US$100 billion. The government however only managed to only collect $12 billion. However, as much as $350 billion previously hidden abroad was declared by one million entities, including in tax haven countries, averaging $350,000 per entity, or a hundred times per capita gross domestic product, equivalent to 40 percent of Indonesia’s GDP. 

Written by Elisa Valenta, email: elisa.valenta@theinsiderstories.com

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