New Indonesian tax head wants easier services

By GovInsider

Government looking to improve tax collections after falling short in 2015.

Indonesia will make it simpler for citizens to pay their taxes, while the government uses maps to check that they pay the right amount, the country’s new head of tax said.

“I will make it easy for people to sign up and allow people to pay, for example, through the ATM”, Ken Dwijugiasteadi, Director General of Tax, Ministry of Finance, said this week after taking office.

The government is mandating that citizens use an upgraded e-billing system that was launched last month. From 1 July, all banks will accept only e-billing, and no paper forms, for paying taxes.

This will allow people to pay taxes via ATMs, internet banking, mobile banking, or bank tellers.

The service is “making it easier for citizens so that they don't have to fill out forms. It will make it easier for banks, and also for us to monitor payments by reducing paper”, a public relations officer from the tax agency told GovInsider.

The tax agency will also use “geo-tagging” on maps, Ken said. This will help the agency know where citizens and businesses have not paid or are not registered to pay.

The Indonesian Government must collect more taxes to help drive economic growth, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said.

“Without collection, there will not be an expansive state spending that we hope can drive economic growth,” he said, according to Jakarta Globe.

Indonesia has set a tax revenue target of U$102 billion, but the government is looking to revise this target, the Minister said. The country brought in 82% of its target last year, with 800,000 businesses not registered to pay taxes.

“The inauguration of the new Director General of Taxation is expected to run quickly and devise the best strategy for securing tax revenue," the Minister said.

The agency has also restructured internally with a new unit formed to track citizens who don’t pay taxes.

The new Directorate of Taxation Intelligence will monitor citizens and collect information to make sure people comply and help with cases where citizens don’t pay their fare share.