Tax Sector Vulnerable to Corruption

Thursday, 01 December 2016 , 11:00:00 WIB - Economy

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani (middle) accompanied by Finance Deputy Minister Mardiasmo (left) and Director General of Tax Ken Dwijugiasteadi (right) are seen preparing to attend a work meeting with the House´s Commission XI at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, Monday (28/11). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – The House’s Commission XI has held a work meeting with the Finance Ministry to discuss the catch-in-the-act operation (OTT) conducted by the anti-graft commission (KPK) that arrested an official in the Directorate General of Tax, Handang Soekarno, some time ago. In the meeting, the Director General of Tax, Ken Dwijugisteadi, apologized to the House’s Commission XI for what his subordinate has done that tarnished the image of the Finance Ministry and the Directorate General of Tax.

He also explained that Handang is allegedly receiving a bribe worth US$148,500 (Rp1.9 billion) from the Director of PT EK Prima Ekspor Indonesia, Rajesh Rajamohanan Nair, to manipulate the taxes that have to be paid by the company. "KPK is investigating the case to look for the other suspects," Ken said.

The House’s Commission XI Chairman Melchias Mekeng said what the mischievous taxman has done hurts the government that’s trying hard to increase tax income.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the incident must be evaluated seriously as the Finance Ministry has promised to support the government’s bureaucracy reform.

According to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, the incident makes them learn to maintain the Directorate General of Tax more properly. "I will follow what KPK leads like I’ve said before at KPK Headquarters, which is to give a full access to KPK and use their findings to improve the Directorate General of Tax," Sri Mulyani said after giving a general course titled ‘Know the State Budget’ at Padjajaran University (Unpad), Bandung, Tuesday (29/11).

"Of course we hope those who don’t have a commitment on integrity would be punished justly according to their mistakes," she added.

However, the most important matter for Sri Mulyani is asking the tax officials to work wholeheartedly and committed to do their duties properly.

Regarding remuneration, Sri Mulyani has also asserted that no matter how big the officials’ salary is, it would be pointless if they have bad intentions.

Further, she said firmly to her management and staff to maintain their credibility and integrity in doing their duties because the salary provided by the Finance Ministry is enough to support their lives.

"If their goal is to be rich, then the Finance Ministry is not the place for them. However, the Finance Ministry provides salary and incentives that are enough to put them in the middle class," she said.

Therefore, Sri Mulyani continues to assert that she won’t raise the salary of taxmen. Despite this, overachieving taxmen will receive a bonus.

VULNERABLE TO CORRUPTION - A member of ACFE (Associate of Certified Fraud Examiner) from Pelita Harapan University, Tanggor Sihombing, said that corruption crimes mostly committed in public sector, and tax sector is vulnerable to corruption or illegal retribution scandals.

"The catch-in-the-act operation (OTT) that arrested an official in the Directorate General of Tax is just a tip of an iceberg, there are still many illegal practices in the institution," Tanggor said to, Wednesday (30/11).

He claims that conspiracies between officials and entrepreneurs surround tax sector. "Many people are pessimistic with the government’s commitment in eradicating corruption in tax sector. The government must look for more suspects. The illegal practice might be committed by more than one person," he asserted.

Besides that, the Directorate General of Tax must be more transparent about their management. (dtc)