Monday, January 12, 2015

Tax treaty yang merugikan

Indonesia tidak akan membuat perjanjian penghindaran pajak berganda (P3B) yang baru. Hal ini ditegaskan oleh pemerintah seperti diberitakan disini dan juga disini. Seperti dijelaskan oleh Menteri Keuangan:
"Menteri Keuangan Bambang Brodjonegoro menyatakan, selama ini tax treaty dengan negara lain secara bilateral justru merugikan Indonesia. "Makanya, saya sedang berpikir, apakah perlu moratorium atau me-review kembali tax treaty yang ada," ujar Bambang."

Permasalahan lain diungkapkan oleh Menkeu adalah adanya tax treaty yang merugikan Indonesia. Di tahun 2004, Indonesia pernah membatalkan P3B atau tax treaty dengan Mauritius.

NGO di luar negeri pernah menampilkan laporan tentang kerugian atas tax treaty atas negara-negara yang menandatangani tax treaty seperti dilaporkan oleh SOMO dalam laporannya yang menjelaskan kerugian, khususnya dalam withholding tax, dari berbagai negara yang mempunyai tax treaty dengan Belanda.

Apakah Indonesia akan membatalkan tax treaty dengan berbagai negara yang merugikan?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Tax Office - Travel and Taxes in different countries - Photo Essay

As noted in the famous quote that there are two certain things in life namely tax and death, similarly traveling and tax are likely two certain things in life as well.

Anyone will surely find various tax issues, e.g. tax office, in his or her journey.

This photo essay with several pictures below are able to show us what tax could really mean in someone's journey and lessons we could learn.

-Siem Reap Tax Office

 I was surprised to find this tax office, which is officially called Tax Branch, located in Siem Reap, not far from tourist area as it could be seen here. This tax office successfully reminded me of how Khmer kings managed to collect tax revenue used to finance the development of Angkor Wat.

I have no doubt that the tax ratio of Khmer Empire must have been relatively high otherwise the kings who built the magnificent complex of Angkor Wat would have no financial resources.
Unfortunately, the current tax ratio in present day Khmer nation, or Cambodia, is relatively low compared to other countries since it is still below 10 percents. 

Could I say that the tax office in Khmer empire in its heyday in 12th century may have a special place within, or near, the king's palace or situated inside the empire's capital in Angkor Thom?

-Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri in Penang

The tax office in Penang was located near the Fort Cornwallis and next to Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower surprised me since it is situated in strategic area and reminded me of my tax liability.

-Namba Tax Office in Osaka

Several things came into my mind after seeing the information about Namba Municipal Tax Office in MRT station in Osaka. Firstly, there were so many people came to visit this office so that a sign had to include the tax office. Secondly, tax office is, more or less, a kind of landmark therefore it is easy to find direction using tax office. Lastly, many people are already familiar with this office, as as result this office had to be shown on the map available in each MRT station in Japan.

Based on the website of this office, taxpayers could use this office to deal not only with national tax such as income tax but also municipal tax. This one-stop tax service is indeed really helpful for the taxpayers.

-Lhokseumawe Tax Office

This tax office located in Lhoksuemawe is one of hundreds of tax offices in Indonesia but, historically, this office could serve as remembrance of bloody conflict in Aceh province and how the peace agreement managed to end the conflict. The previous office for Lhokseumawe was destroyed during the conflict therefore this office had to be built.

As reported here during conflict, Aceh people were required by the separatist movement to pay pajak nanggroe that was used as financial support for separatist group but this "special tax" was ended after the peace agreement was signed.

What could I learn?
I do learn several things:
- Tax ratio is indeed important hence it is quite relevant that government tries to improve tax ratio and even though ancient kingdoms had different term for tax ratio, any king or leader will not be able to get financial support for development without adequate tax ratio.
- Tax office may serve as landmark since it is a place that many people need to visit.
- In any conflict, there could be double taxation when people have to pay special tax, other than any tax imposed by the government. Peace is indeed crucial for effective tax collection and what happened in Aceh is an obvious example.