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Suryo Utomo Inaugurated as New Director-General of Taxes

Indonesian Finance Minister Sry Mulyani Indrawati officially installed Suryo Utomo as Director-General of Taxes - Photo: Finance Ministry

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian Finance Minister Sry Mulyani Indrawati officially installed Suryo Utomo as Director-General of Taxes to replace Robert Pakpahan, who entered retirement this month. Utomo will carry out very heavy duties due to 70 percent of the revenue in the State Budget derived from tax revenue is used to support all activities of the country.

“Today, I, the Minister of Finance officially inaugurate my colleagues. Your career, I consider it very complete to be able to prepare yourself in the position of Director General of Taxes that is trusted by the President to be able to carry out this task,” Indrawati said during the inauguration in Jakarta today (11/01), adding the four criteria for it position, namely competence, sincerity and happy serving, has expertise and integrity.

In addition to the director-general of taxes, Indrawati also installed 10 people at the Directorate General of Customs and Excise, four people at the Indonesia National Single Window Institution, and two directors at the Education Fund Management Institution.

President Joko Widodo at the inauguration of the Ministers days ago asked the finance ministry to make an investment-friendly tax. Therefore, the directorate general of taxes needs to continue to improve themselves. How to make people want to willingly pay taxes, with various facilities in managing tax obligations, so that the public feels the benefits.

Indrawati emphasized that revenue growth must continue to be carried out through proper intensification and extensification. Customs and the National Single Window must be able to provide security for the community and the economy to flood the illegal flow of imports, she said.

“I also want the directorate general of customs and excise to understand the theme of developed Indonesia which is pillared to increase investment, exports, maintain imports and create industrialization and encourage tourism,” she added.

Utomo has been an official in the Directorate General of Taxes since 1993. His previous position was as a Tax Compliance Specialist at the Minister of Finance. Before occupying the position in 2015, Utomo, 50, had crossed the field of taxation throughout his career.

Several positions held by the alumni of the University of Southern California, United States include the Head of VAT Industrial Section in 1998 and Head of Corporate Income Tax Section in 2002. In this year, he was promoted to Head of the Industrial Value Added Sub Directorate, then in 2006 as Head of the Foreign Investment Tax Service Office, and in 2008 as Head of the Big Taxpayer Tax Office.

In 2009 he was promoted to Head of the Regional Office of the Directorate General of Taxation of Central Java I, in 2010 became Director of Taxation Regulations I, and in 2015 became Director of Extensification and Appraisal. Then, on July 1, 2015, he was appointed to serve as Expert Staff of the Minister of Finance in Tax Compliance.

Over the past four years, Utomo has been involved in drafting the Revision of the Tax Amnesty Law and its implementing regulations in 2016-2017. He also co-authored the Draft Bill on Access to Financial Information for Taxation Purposes and its implementation rules in 2017. In addition, he was also involved in carrying out the 2017 Tax Reform and drafting the Tax Omnibus Law.

In recent times, Utomo was widely touted as the strongest candidate to fill the position of director-general of taxes. In 2014, for example, Utomo along with a number of officials within the fiscal authority participated in the selection of the director-general of taxes which was then carried out under an auction scheme.

Utomo reappeared in 2017 when the previous director Ken Dwijugiasteadi retired. Even before the announcement, his name was referred to as a strong candidate for the position. But lately, he actually bounced and was replaced by Pakpahan. The Pakpahan’s appointment was revealed by the Chairman of the Vice President’s Expert Team Sofjan Wanandi had been directly appointed by President Widodo on Indrawati’s proposal.

Previously, Executive Director of the Center for Indonesia Taxation Analysis (CITA) Yustinus Prastowo assessed that the new director-general of taxes must be able to face political pressure that could disrupt the performance of the institution he leads in order to function optimally.

“Political pressure will lead to distorting tax policies and produce sub-optimal revenues. Therefore, the director must be able to overcome political pressure at the level of policy and collection,” he said.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com