Commentary: Indonesia’s tax amnesty enters its 3rd phase with superior benefits so much


Indonesia has entered the 3rd phase of its tax amnesty programme, which was first introduced in July 2016 to boost the country’s meagre profits by gathering previously-unreported resources hidden by wealthy citizens overseas and at property.

The place, which has extended struggled to enhance its tax profits, has so much found a lot more than 600,000 taxpayers sign up for the plan, producing US$8 billion from the first two phases of the programme.

The first phase, which finished in Oct very last yr, exceeded expectations by producing close to US$seven billion or two-thirds of the profits concentrate on. The second reporting period of time finished on Dec 31, 2016, and produced the much scaled-down amount of money of US$one billion.

About 27,000 new taxpayers have registered since the rollout of the programme. And even though it stays to be found regardless of whether Indonesia will arrive at its tax amnesty concentrate on of US$12.4 billion by the conclusion of the 3rd phase in March, the achievements of the first phase prompted economic observers to hail it as one of the most successful in the environment.

BEATING Expectations

Lots of, which includes the IMF, have been initially sceptical about Indonesia’s prospect of producing considerable profits from the amnesty. But the choose-up of the programme has dispelled doubts.

The profits that Indonesia has produced from it is significantly greater than related programmes that have been applied in other countries, this kind of as India, Greece, Germany and Canada.

One particular of the elements that attracted a lot of Indonesians to report their property is the small tax charge of the programme. In the first round, the federal government only charged 2 per cent tax on whole documented economic property within Indonesia and 4 per cent for property overseas. The charge increases incrementally in subsequent phases, reaching 10 per cent for offshore property by the 3rd period of time.

The OECD has criticised Indonesia’s small charges as it considered them also generous towards tax evaders. In September, hundreds of union workers in Jakarta protested in opposition to the tax amnesty plan, lamenting that it pardons wealthy tax cheaters.

But the local finance ministry thinks the small charges have been the driving element for the substantial uptake of the programme.

Extra INCENTIVES

The Indonesian federal government disregards the origins of the resources currently being documented on to be certain taxpayers choose benefit of the plan. And it ignores prior fake reporting of whole property and promises confidentiality for those people who take part in the amnesty programme.

The first phase of the programme exceeded expectations by producing close to US$7b or two-thirds of the profits concentrate on. (Image: AFP)

But some abundant businessmen this kind of as CEO of Lippo Team James Riady have overtly declared their participation and named for some others to report their property also.

Indonesia’s tax amnesty programme is effectively-timed. By September 2017, the place will commence exchanging tax information with some others that are component of the OECD’s Automatic Exchange of Data initiative. This signifies the place will commence acquiring information about offshore property owned by its inhabitants from tax jurisdictions that are component of the initiative. As of July 2016, one zero one tax jurisdictions had signed up to the programme.

The initiative will signify that tax avoiders will obtain it really hard to conceal their economic information from authorities because banks would not be permitted to conceal information about their non-resident shoppers.

THE Last Period of time

Getting into the 3rd period of time, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani expects modest and medium organizations to present a considerable contribution to tax profits.

Even though most of those people having benefit of the first phase of tax amnesty have been wealthy tycoons with offshore property, about 70 per cent of taxpayers reporting in the second period of time of the tax amnesty have been modest and medium organizations.

These organizations add practically US$196 billion or 55.six per cent to Indonesia’s GDP, but profits produced from the second phase was 10 times significantly less than the first phase.

The programme’s achievements as a result is dependent on this very last round of reporting. The finance minister ought to get the job done with the Ministry of Cooperatives and Little and Medium Enterprises to get the listing of organizations and need them to report their property.

WIDENING THE TAX Base

The achievements of the tax amnesty programme so much is a welcome attempt to enhance Indonesia’s tax profits. But if Indonesia seriously wants to enhance its tax money, it ought to obtain a way to aggressively widen its tax base.

Indonesia has a populace of close to 260 million men and women but only 26 million are registered as taxpayers. This small variety has contributed to the country’s spending plan deficit, which is predicted to arrive at US$25 billion in 2017 or about 2.forty one per cent of whole GDP.

The federal government nevertheless has a good deal of get the job done to do to educate modern society concerning tax compliance. One particular of the things it could do is join tax compliance with ethical and spiritual principles – faith performs an critical component in Indonesian modern society. Religiosity may affect people’s behaviors, and may make people unwilling to have interaction in tax evasion.

Analysis has found a beneficial partnership involving tax morale and faith in Spain and the United States, and it could perform similarly in Indonesia.

This posting first appeared in The Discussion. Co-creator Nurhastuty Wardhani is a PHD candidate at Queensland University of Know-how and a lecturer in Accountancy and Islamic Finance at Trisakti University. Co-creator Asmiati Malik is a doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham. Browse the primary report here



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ICA warns public about phony web-site


SINGAPORE: The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Tuesday (Jan 31) warned members of the public about a phony ICA web-site that is phishing for visitors’ visa application numbers and passport numbers. 

In a news launch, ICA said the phony website’s URL is www.ica.sgov.asia. No knowledge from the formal ICA web-site – www.ica.gov.sg – has been compromised, and entry to it remains unaffected. 

ICA additional that a police report has been built on this subject. 

Screengrab of the visa application website page from the phony web-site. 

A test by Channel NewsAsia showed that lots of back links on the phony web-site led to a website page which states: Technique is down for do the job. 

Screengrab from the phony ICA web-site. 

The authority also advised members of the public to exercising warning, so they do not unwittingly slide prey to this sort of phony web sites. ICA also urged netizens to only use the formal ICA web-site for all informational and transactional demands relating to ICA matters. 

“ICA normally takes a severe see of this sort of phony web sites as they undermine public have faith in in our program and procedures,” ICA said. “We will do the job to bring down the web-site and will keep on to check them.” 



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Woodprint New Calendar year paintings however a thriving company in Tianjin


TIANJIN: Huo Shuqing’s spouse and children has been producing traditional woodprint New Calendar year paintings for 7 generations. 

The system of creating these paintings include things like drawing, carving woodcut styles, producing ink rubbings from the styles, colouring and eventually mounting. 

Mr Huo specialises in introducing color to the rubbings and he has been undertaking it for twenty five many years. He maintains that colouring is the toughest element of the system. 

Huo Shuqing’s spouse and children has been producing traditional woodcut New Calendar year paintings for 7 generations. (Image: Jeremy Koh)

“Soon after all the preliminary get the job done is accomplished, after the wood is carved, it is mounted and you don’t have to contact it. But colouring is different because there is not a mounted structure, there is not a sample, so it is fully based on your practical experience, which is why it is pretty difficult,” claimed Mr Huo.

He is based in Yangliuqing, a town in the northern Chinese port town of Tianjin exactly where imperial families procured their New Calendar year paintings during historic periods.

Yangliuqing in Tianjin is well known for its traditional woodcut New Calendar year paintings. (Image: Jeremy Koh) 

Yangliuqing’s custom of creating New Calendar year paintings day back again to extra than 600 many years ago to the Yuan Dynasty.

Currently, there are two main towns that specialise in woodcut New Calendar year paintings in China – Yangliuqing and Taohuawu which is located at the jap Chinese town of Suzhou. 

Mr Huo claimed: “The Taohuawu New Calendar year paintings are based on woodblock printing, which indicates that craftmen put all the colours on a wood carving before employing it to print on regions that require colours. But for Yangliuqing New Calendar year paintings … most of us do woodblock painting for only three colours. The rest are painted by hand.”
The paintings are renowned for their vivid colours as well as its auspicious and festive themes. 

And customers like Supporter Dongyan and her partner would journey for several hours to Yangliuqing to obtain these paintings. 

Ms Supporter, who comes from Shandong province, bought two pieces for US$forty three (S$sixty one).

It’s crucial to retain China’s cultural heritage alive, claims a traveller who ordered two paintings. (Image: Jeremy Koh)

She claimed: “It’s acquiring extra and extra crucial to preserve China’s cultural heritage. So though several Chinese are travelling abroad, I imagine they need to also see some of our people lifestyle that is disappearing.” 

In 2006, the Point out Council listed the Yangliuqing New Calendar year paintings as an intangible cultural heritage, providing artists an impetus to decide on it up.

Hao Guifen, the Director of the Tianjin People Artists Affiliation explained to Channel NewsAsia: “Before it was listed as an intangible cultural heritage, the Yangliuqing New Calendar year paintings ended up on a drop, which indicates there weren’t several individuals undertaking it. But after that, some former artists started choosing it up all over again, and the younger generation also started to understand how to do it.”

When this indicates extra competitiveness for the artists, the Chinese individuals can be optimistic that this traditional people art will not vanish anytime before long.



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Problem in Malaysia Rohingya could slide prey to IS extremists


KUALA LUMPUR: Amid worries that the Islamic State (IS) team is setting up a community in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is specifically anxious that IS militants will exploit the Rohingya local community in the country, wherever tens of countless numbers have tens of countless numbers have sought refuge.

There are growing fears that they will slide prey to extremists if they carry on to be marginalised. At a Rohingya refugee centre on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, additional than a hundred little ones aged involving 5 and thirteen are currently being schooled by academics and volunteers from mosques, churches and temples.

Apart from currently being taught how to study and write, these little ones, who are Muslims, also understand about other ethnic cultures and spiritual tolerance. The founder of the college, Ustaz Rafik, said instruction is the finest way to assist these little ones to ward off undesirable components this sort of as extremist groups from infiltrating the local community.

The Rohingya in Malaysia are in the spotlight soon after the country’s counter-terrorism chief warned he experienced intelligence that some may well join the IS’s cells in southern Philippines. The issues ended up heightened next the Myanmar government’s the latest crackdown of the Rohingyas in Rakhine condition that pressured tens of countless numbers to flee to neighbouring nations.

But Ustaz Rafik pressured IS has no position between the Rohingyas.   

“This Rohingya challenge is not new, it is been there for numerous several years even throughout the time of Al-Qaeda, the Rohingya didn’t go and join them, so why would they now?” 

He extra: “We are pretty robust in our coronary heart we are searching for our appropriate again to Myanmar, the appropriate way, which is via diplomatic channels with Myanmar government.”

But migrant legal rights experts share the exact same issues as authorities. They say the Rohingya, who have been explained as the most persecuted minority on earth, can be exploited and radicalised by IS if they carry on to be left in the fringes of society.

“If IS is inclined to give them a sense of belonging an identification and most likely remuneration, which is considerably additional currently being compensated by employer or obtaining their possess business will not they be tempted to join this team,” explained Glorene Fernandez, Executive Director of women’s legal rights team Tenaganita.

“Because they know they will have sense of belonging and sense of safety if they join.”

There are around a hundred,000 ethnic Rohingya in Malaysia and about fifty percent of them are registered with the UN refugee agency. The Rohingya account for eighty for each cent of the full variety of refugees in the country and are stateless with no legal appropriate to do the job or suitable accessibility to health care and official instruction.

The Malaysian government have explained the Rohingya are not entitled to these legal rights mainly because Malaysia is not celebration to the UN refugee conference. Malaysia has also explained it is accomplishing what it can and has a short while ago called on users of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to assist remedy the crisis.

“We are accomplishing the finest in comparison to other nations in the area, if not why are they coming here?” explained Nur Jazlan, Deputy Dwelling Minister Malaysia. “We want the stress to be shared by other nations, not just in terms of pounds and cents, but also for them to acquire in some Rohingya.” 

Migrant rights groups have noted that Rohingya refugees carry on to uncover in their way into Malaysia irrespective of sea routes currently being blocked soon after nations in the area tightened safety to stop human smuggling pursuits. 

“They are also tempted to acquire Bangladesh passports so that they can fly more than here,” explained Tenaganita’s Fernandez. “Some 60,000 ended up explained to have been displaced and currently trying to find shelter in Tekna in neighboring Bangladesh. 

The Malaysian government has also explained that Myanmar should take care of the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine condition in a bid to stop IS exerting its affect in Southeast Asia. 



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Cockfighters reap Calendar year of Rooster reward in Thailand


BANGKOK: Prized birds confronted off in front of 1000’s of spectators at a stadium around Thailand’s cash on Sunday (Jan 29) as celebrations for the Calendar year of the Rooster brought a windfall for some.

Although cockfighting is banned in numerous nations around the world on grounds of animal cruelty, it is a profitable small business in Thailand as nicely as a well known pastime. Sunday’s prime chicken bought for over US$70,000 (£55,795).

“This calendar year is a really very good calendar year for us. It really is the calendar year of the golden rooster. The worth of the roosters has absent up,” stated Banchej Changyai, 55, who was jogging the contest south of Bangkok on the second day of celebrations for the Lunar New Calendar year.

Each and every combat involves two roosters dealing with off in a pit. They lurch at just about every, inflicting damage with beaks and wings.

Each and every spherical is 22 minutes extensive, and there can be up to 6 rounds dependent on the roosters’ endurance.

“Nowadays, the rooster brought me a whole lot of funds. I adore cockfighting, it really is a passion of mine,” stated Narongsak Sealee, 22, right after winning five hundred,000 baht (£11,303) at the Thedthai cockfighting stadium in Samut Prakan province.

A winner rooster poses with funds right after a combat. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

In contrast to in numerous nations around the world, the Thai cocks do not combat to the loss of life. Rather, the to start with chicken to cower absent loses.    

“This rooster is so very good that it offers me, the owner, a excellent status and makes me really joyful,” stated Virat Patcharaphangkorn, right after getting the event’s prize rooster for 2.five million baht.



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Granny prostitutes replicate South Korea&#039s difficulty of elderly poverty


SOUTH KOREA – It is 10.30am and Madam Park (not her true identify) is out prowling the streets of central Jongo district, Seoul, waiting to make a brief sale.

This 78-year-previous targets grey-haired adult males, in practising the world’s oldest profession.

At Seoul’s coronary heart, upcoming to the busy company district, is a road the place intercourse is for sale by females previous ample to be grandmothers. These so-identified as ‘Bacchus ladies’ – named immediately after a well-known vitality drink – are the issue of an investigation by Channel NewsAsia’s Get Rea! documentary on South Korea’s elderly inadequate, which premieres on Jan 31.

At her age, Mdm Park must be at home, surrounded by her small children and grandchildren. In its place, she stands on the streets for at the very least six several hours a day, waiting for clients.

“In purchase to endure, I just near my eyes and get it over with,” she explained in Korean. “In a single day, if there is great luck, we meet a few to 4 adult males and obtain about one hundred,000 gained (S$a hundred and twenty).”

She does this so that she can afford to pay for the US$250 (S$350) value of arthritis drugs a thirty day period. Her arthritis is so severe that she can barely walk.

When Channel NewsAsia approached her on the road, she explained: “You arrived to enjoy? To meet someone? The place fee is US$10. The fee for the girl is US$thirty.”

Observe: Madam Park’s tale (2:forty six)

Could not Obtain ANY OTHER Work

Mdm Park explained that she married when she was 19. When she was in her late 20s, her husband gambled absent the family home and remaining her by yourself to elevate 4 small children.

She was working as a kitchen area helper and could not afford to pay for to send out them to college. Now they really do not earn ample to assistance her, and she promises that they do not care about her. She now lives with her family in a compact household and they have barely ample to live by.

Mdm Park explained that her knees gave way when she was in her early 70s and she could not obtain a job. Desperate for foodstuff and treatment, she became a Bacchus woman.

“Even if I am heading to die, I require the drugs. The day immediately after upcoming, I will go to the hospital and get an injection for the bones. It is so painful,” she explained.

Prostitution is illegal in South Korea and Mdm Park explained that she has been caught and fined various times by the police. Even so, desperate times calls for desperate measures.

“It is embarrassing. I am embarrassed since I am previous,” she explained. Aside from the eighty two-year-previous grandmother who is the street’s oldest intercourse-employee, “I am the upcoming oldest. And upcoming is 60-in addition years previous. There is no a single below 50. All of them have grandchildren,” she explained.

Elderly POVERTY AND Inadequate PENSIONS

South Korea has a single of the world’s speediest ageing populations and practically fifty percent of its elderly live in poverty.

Its pension and welfare systems for the elderly lag behind other created countries practically fifty percent of South Koreans aged sixty five and older live on fewer than fifty percent the countrywide median cash flow.

A soup kitchen area in South Korea caters to the elderly inadequate.

Professor Lee Ho-Sunshine, from the Korea Soongsil Cyber College in Seoul, who has been researching these ‘Bacchus ladies’ for years, explained that most only started advertising intercourse later in existence.

She explained that among 2013 and 2014, the selection of ‘Bacchus ladies’ peaked at about 300 to four hundred in the Jongno neighbourhood by yourself.

“I can’t notify when they (Bacchus females) started but most of them were being neglected in the course of the forex disaster in 1997. Households could not genuinely assistance their mom and dad as before. So, the senior citizens became homeless and… considering the fact that they do not have a great deal skills, all they could do was come to be a prostitute,” she explained.

She explained the essential pension in South Korea – about two hundred,000 gained a thirty day period – as insufficient.

Some of the elderly are unwilling to load their small children with their economical difficulties. Some others were being remaining behind in the countryside though their small children moved to the towns to search for work and training.

Dr Lee explained: “Times are altering – in the past, it was ample to get by on a single person’s cash flow. Now even a dual cash flow is not ample.  Children are not in the situation to choose care of their mom and dad. The elderly difficulty in South Korea is extremely shameful.

“Unless the younger adult’s troubles are solved, we can’t remedy the elderly’s troubles.”

Observe the Get Rea! documentary on South Korea’s elderly inadequate on Jan 31 at 8pm SG/HK.



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