Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Unregistered Taxpayers to Pay double for Exit Tax

The tax office has officially announced an increase in the much-decried fiskal, or exit tax for travelers going overseas, in part to put to rest widespread speculation over the amount of the increase.

The exit tax for those aged 21 years and above departing from airports will be raised from Rp 1 million (US$91) to Rp 2.5 million, and for those traveling by sea from Rp 500,000 to Rp 1 million, effective Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2010.

However, registered taxpayers will not have to pay a single cent; and starting from 2011, the exit tax will be scrapped altogether, according to the Finance Ministry's directorate general of taxation.

Director general Darmin Nasution said the increase in exit tax was part of an effort to get more potential taxpayers to register for a tax number (NPWP).

It is proving a smart ruse, with many middle-to-high-income residents flocking to nearby tax offices to get an NPWP to comply with the office's Sunset Policy program that ends on Dec. 31.

The program, under which applicants' tax obligations in previous years are written off, has seen people rushing to register themselves.

This month alone, the number of people registering for an NPWP was between 50,000 and 100,000 per day, up from about 7,000 people daily in previous months.

The exit tax will from now on become an up-front payment for income tax.

For instance, an employee whose income tax is Rp 20 million per year and who has traveled abroad twice this year -- paying Rp 1 million in exit tax each time -- will only have to pay Rp 18 million in income tax when filing their tax returns in March 2009.

For those not yet registered, the new exit tax of Rp 2.5 million could prove very daunting.

Satria Ramadhan, who will go to Bangkok for holidays in early January, said he was glad to have registered for an NPWP.

"Otherwise, I would have to pay Rp 2.5 million. I would have definitely canceled my trip if I had to pay such a huge amount."

Another traveler, Frederick Tobing, praised the move by the directorate general of taxation.

"It's a smart move. Most people, including myself, will rush to register at the tax office, just to avoid paying the exit tax."

The directorate general of taxation estimates up to 10 million new taxpayers have registered this year, Darmin said.

"I didn't expect the number to be this huge. No one expected to tap 10 million new taxpayers," he said.

To get exemption from paying the exit tax, registered taxpayers must submit a copy of their NPWP, passport and boarding pass to tax officials at airports or ports.

If the NPWP is declared valid, the officials will put a "free exit tax" sticker on the boarding pass. If it is not valid, travelers will have to pay the exit tax.

1. Exit tax from airports for people aged 21 years and above raised from Rp 1 million to Rp 2.5 million.
2. Exit tax from ports for people aged 21 years and above raised from Rp 500,000 to Rp 1 million.
3. Those automatically exempt from paying the exit tax include: People aged less than 21 years; foreigners staying in Indonesia no more than 183 days within the last 12 months; diplomats; employees of international organizations; Indonesian citizens with official documents from other countries, including students; Haj pilgrims and Indonesian migrant laborers.
4. Those exempt from paying the exit tax but required to provide documentary proof: Foreign students with letters of recommendation from their universities; foreign researchers; foreign workers in Batam, Bintan and Karimun; disabled or ill people seeking medical treatment abroad paid for by social organizations; people traveling for art, culture, sport and religious missions, and students in a student-exchange program.

Sources: Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, December 26, 2008


  1. Hi:
    Can anyone advise if a Foreign Resident living in indonesia on a Retirement kita is required to have a NPWP or pay Taxes since it is illegal to work if using a Retirement visa

  2. Dear Mr. Kevin
    In Article 2 par (1) Tax Law No. 28 Year 2007, that "Any taxpayer fulfilling subjective and objective requirements in accordance with provisions of taxation legislation shall register with the office of the Directorate General of Taxation"
    Objective requirements are requirements for tax subjects receiving or earning income or obliged to withhold/collect in accordance with the provisions of the 1984 Income Tax Law and its amendments.
    Subjective requirements are an individual who resides in Indonesia or is present in Indonesia for more than 183 (one hundred and eighty-three) days within any 12 (twelve) month period, or an individual who in particular taxable year is present and INTENDS TO RESIDE in Indonesia.
    So, if a Foreign Resident is Intends to reside in Indonesia for more than 183 days within any 12 month period (althought its illegal) and work/receive an income from Indonesia; he/she required to have a NPWP.

  3. Hi

    As a local resident what is required to avoid paying the exit tax. Just provide the NPWP

  4. Dear Taxlearning:
    Thanks for the info, but I am here legally on a Retirement Visa issued by he Indonesian Government.( Limited Stay Permit) under Ceategiry Lansia. I do not work and I renew my permit annualy until age 60 when I can apply for Permanent Residence.

  5. Dear Taxlearning,

    I am currently residing in Singapore and holds a long-term social visit pass because I'm married to a Singaporean. Do I need to visit the tax office at the airport and join the queues there or approach the fiskal tax counter directly by showing my passport, boarding pass and my Singapore social visit pass (green KTP)?

    Please advise. Thank you.


  6. You don't need to register a NPWP.
    You can showing your Green card, passport and boarding pass (Directorate General of Taxation Regulation No. 53/PJ/2008 Article 7 No. 4) and get the free of fiskal (exit tax).

  7. Dear Taxlearning,

    What about paying of this tax, if You leave country twice?
    Here is the situation - I leave indonesia few months (less than 183 days) ago with KITAS and exit re-entry permit. In airport i pay 2.5 mil.
    Now I leave indonesia finally with exit permit only, and in airport I pay again.
    Is that is normal?
    They dont want to listen, look at receipt of previous payment.
    So is this is normal, and how I can get back my money?