Jakarta – The government has been urged to find ways to increase state revenue, which grew only 4.9 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the first quarter, much lower than the 12.6 percent growth in the corresponding period last year.
The main reason for the slow growth was the decrease in tax revenue, which grew only 6.7 percent in the first quarter, far lower than in the first quarter of 2018, which was 10.3 percent.
Non-tax revenue also declined 1.4 percent from the amount collected in the same period last year, which grew 22.1 percent yoy.
Commenting on the data, Center for Indonesia Taxation (Cita) executive director Yustinus Prastowo said it was difficult for the government to achieve this year's state revenue target of Rp 1.56 quadrillion (US$108.06 billion).
He pointed to the stagnant prices of commodities, which were major export products, as one of the reasons for the slow growth in state revenue.
Yustinus said one of the ways for the Taxation Directorate General to boost state revenue was to scrutinize taxpayer data. He said the tax office should map out taxpayers by checking the data in their tax annual returns (SPT) and tax amnesty documents.
From the data analysis, the tax office could determine the measures needed to increase tax revenue, such as an persuasive approach, audits or investigation, he said as quoted by kontan.co.id.
Another way is to optimize tax revenue from e-commerce, in which traders operate through online marketplaces, social media and other digital platforms, Yustinus said.
Meanwhile, DDTC tax analyst Aji Bawono criticized the government's decision to revoke Finance Ministerial Regulation No 210/2018 on e-commerce tax, which was initially to take effect last month.
The revocation prevented the government from diversifying its tax sources, Aji said. He estimated that the government could only collect Rp 1.45 quadrillion in state revenue this year. (bbn).