Indonesia to hunt tax-evading businesses with an app

Government looking for new ways to meet revenue targets.

Tax officials in Indonesia will have an app to track businesses that have not registered with the tax agency, as the government looks for new ways to meet revenue targets. The Easy Tag app to be launched next year will let officials tag businesses on a map and upload their photos. Officials can then check on these businesses to see if they have tax registration numbers which is used to track their payments. Businesses without registration numbers will be marked in red and asked to register with the Ministry of Finance’s Directorate General of Tax. Indonesia has set a target of US$102 billion in tax revenues for this year. The government fell short of its target by 20% last year, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Around 800,000 of the total 2 million businesses in the country have not registered to pay their taxes. "Our tax revenue target this year is pretty steep,” said Awang Nurmawan Nuh, Director of Extensification and Assessments, at the tax agency, according to Jakarta Globe. “We asked our men and women in the field to map the businesses in their areas. Every single one of the 300 tax service offices around the country must submit a completed map of its area," he said. The app is not only for field officials, but can be used by any employee in the agency, he added. “For example, if I am on a business trip to Medan [city in North Sumatra] and find interesting kiosks or restaurants, I can tag the businesses on the map and upload photos [of the shops]. It will then be displayed in the app, which can be accessed by other agents to be followed up later.” Image by Bindalfrodo, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0