JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — Unbelievable. The Directorate General of Taxation records that within the last five years, since before December 31, 2009, there are 100 companies with tax in arrears that sum up to Rp. 17.5 trillion, or 33.7 percent of the total tax in arrears, which is Rp. 52 trillion.
Thursday, the Directorate General of Taxation submitted the list of tax debtors to the Commission XI of the House, which is in charge of finance and banking. "Those are all the tax in arrears for the last five years," said the chief deputy of Commission XI of the House, Melchias Marcus Mekeng.
A number of government enterprises are included in the top 100 major debtors list, among which, PT Pertamina, PT Garuda Indonesia, PT Jamsostek, and PT Bank BNI Tbk.
Unfortunately, Melchias didn't breakdown the debt figures for each of those companies. The Director General of Taxation, Mochad Tjiptardo, also didn't reveal the numbers of the companies' debts. But clearly, "They all must pay," commented Tjiptardjo.
The Directorate General of Taxation is doing various endeavors to collect the debts. They would even go as far as confiscating assets, including what's deposited in banks or from tax debtors that don't show a good will to pay their tax in arrears. This can be done by blocking bank accounts, interception, or even gijzeling (a form of confiscation).
However, a number of companies in the list deny of having tax debts in arrears. "We're ready for data confirmation because we have all our tax payment proofs," said Gandhi Sulistyanto, director of Sinar Mas Group, the mother-company of PT Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia and PT Pindo Deli Pulp and Papermills, which is included in the list.
Similar denials come from the managing director of PT Jamsostek Hotbonar Sinaga. He even stated that his company has over-paid their tax and has restitution rights from the retirement fund tax deposit, which has been deducted by the bank, with an amount of Rp. 1.4 billion.
Finance director of PT Bank Bukopin Tri Joko Prihanto suspects that his company's tax debt in arrears come from the transactions of its syariah units. However, "the issue is still in dispute, because the government hasn't determined whether Islamic syariah units are subject to tax or not."
Said Didu, secretary to the state minister of state enterprises also admits that part of the government's tax debts in arrears are still in dispute. But, "We will double check and facilitate a meeting between state-owned enterprises and the Directorate General of Taxation." (Kontan/Martina P., Lamgiat S., Roy Franedya, Ade Jun P./C17-09)