Singapore tops list of countries where rich Indonesians kept funds with S$279.2 billion

Singapore accounted for around 57 per cent or 84.52 trillion rupiah (S$8.86 billion) of funds repatriated from abroad to Indonesia as of Wednesday (March 29) under the tax amnesty programme, said the Taxation Directorate General.
Singapore accounted for around 57 per cent or 84.52 trillion rupiah (S$8.86 billion) of funds repatriated from abroad to Indonesia as of Wednesday (March 29) under the tax amnesty programme, said the Taxation Directorate General. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Singapore topped the list of countries where rich Indonesians kept money and assets, according to figures on the country's tax amnesty programme from its finance ministry this week.

According to Antara News, the Taxation Directorate General said Singapore accounted for around 57 per cent or 84.52 trillion rupiah (S$8.86 billion) of funds repatriated from abroad to Indonesia as of Wednesday (March 29) under the tax amnesty programme which ends on Friday.

Singapore was followed by Cayman Islands with 16.5 trillion rupiah, Hong Kong with 16.3 trillion rupiah, British Virgin Islands with 6.58 trillion rupiah and China with 3.65 trillion rupiah, the ministry data showed.

Singapore also accounted for the largest part of assets declared under the tax amnesty programme with 73 per cent of the assets worth 751.19 trillion rupiah (S$78.75 billion) parked here, said Antara.

The national news agency said large assets have also been declared in the British Virgin Islands (76.92 trillion rupiah), Hong Kong (56.27 trillion rupiah), Cayman Islands (52.86 trillion rupiah) and Australia (41.15 trillion rupiah).

The Taxation Directorate General said there were around US$250 billion (S$349 billion)  worth of funds parked abroad by wealthy Indonesians, of which about US$200 billion  (S$279.2 billion) are in Singapore, Antara reported.

Of the assets in Singapore, around 650 trillion rupiah are "non-investable assets" such as property, the report added.

Indonesia's amnesty programme, a key plank in President Joko Widodo's bid to boost revenue in order to fund ambitious spending plans, has already netted the government about 125 trillion rupiah in revenue, with more than 800,000 participants declaring 4,690 trillion rupiah of assets both at home and abroad since the amnesty began in July last year.

The government had hoped to see 1,000 trillion rupiah repatriated from overseas and subsequently invested locally. But as of Wednesday, funds repatriated reached only 146 trillion rupiah, according to the Taxation Directorate General website.

Despite the failure to reach the target, Indonesia is said to be the most successful among countries that have launched such a programme.

Hestu Yoga Saksama, director for public relations at the Directorate General of Taxation told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday that rich taxpayers who did not participate in the tax amnesty programme would pay a much heavier price, including penalties of as much as 200 per cent, Bloomberg News reported.

Experts said about a 10th of Indonesians are registered taxpayers. Of these, fewer than a million file returns, due to the country's notoriously loose tax regime.