FISKAL: It’s on, it’s off, it’s on again …October 17, 2010
Hey Jakarta! I’m confused. OK, OK – it’s a normal state for this bule pikun, but I’m even more confused than usual about conflicting reports about FISKAL from various news sources.
FISKAL, for those who have never had the pleasure of being ensnared in its tentacles, is a departure tax levied on local residents, and on those expats who have temporary resident status, such as a KITAS. This is completely separate from the Airport Departure Tax of 150,000 rupiah, and must be paid by every resident who leaves the country.
A year and a half ago, FISKAL was 1,000,000 rupiah. Then, in a cunning move designed to get people in to the often-avoided tax system, the FISKAL was raised to 2.5 million rupiah, UNLESS one had registered with the tax authorities and been issued with an NPWP card as proof of membership in the Indonesian Tax Club. Once you have an NPWP card to flash at the boys at the airport, you are exempt from having to pay FISKAL.
I have an NPWP card which exempts me from FISKAL. This is crazy in itself, as I have a Retirement KITAS which prohibits me from working in Indonesia, which means no income, which means no tax. I still have to submit monthly and annual tax returns stating that I am a person of zero income status. But I have my FISKAL exemption, which was the aim of the charade in the first place and this is a Good Thing. At least I thought it was.
A news item in the Jakarta Post on 17 October 2010 [ http://tinyurl.com/29mbsy8 ] announced, with not a little fanfare, that FISKAL is being scrapped for everyone from 1 January 2011. Yippee, I thought. Closer reading however, reveals that it is being scrapped for taxpayers only. In other words, there is no change in the status quo. That’s newsworthy?
One week later, an acquaintance’s agent, someone who is presumably supposed to know the convoluted workings of Indonesian bureaucracy, informed him that new regulations require that everyone, including KITAS holders, pay FISKAL.
Is there ANYONE out there who knows what is really going on?