Yikes! I have to pay to leave the country!June 28, 2009
As a brand-new expat, I’m just working out the new (2009) FISCAL rules in Bali. Anyone who is a resident here – and that includes expats on KITAS (which allows you to work) or Retirement KITAS (which doesn’t) must pay a whopping 2.5 million Rupiah FISCAL exit tax. And this is on top of the 100,000 Rupiah airport departure tax … unless you register for tax and get an NPWP card, in which case you pay no FISCAL tax on departure.
Oh, I understand (and agree with) the intent – if you live in Bali for more than six months, you really should do the right thing and register for tax – just as you need to do in Australia by having a Tax File Number. And I even agree with (and rather admire) the big stick approach of charging a huge fee for those who choose not to register for tax and the juicy carrot of zero FISCAL for those who do …
The new legislation is obviously designed to ‘encourage’ those who legally work in Bali – i.e. those with a KITAS working permit – to do their civic duty.
But what about us Retirement KITAS holders? Legally, we can’t, and don’t work in Bali, so we don’t have an income. But if we register for tax and get our NPWP, surely we would be wasting our time, and the government’s, by having to submit ‘nil tax’ returns each month and at year’s end. It may even be that we would attract unwelcome attention from the authorities, because they may find it difficult to understand why we registered for tax if we actually have ‘no income’. But if we don’t register, each time we need to leave the country to travel, or visit loved ones, we have to pay close to $300 AUD – a punitive sum intended to ensure compliance.
Obviously, penalising Retirement KITAS holders was not what the government intended. Perhaps the regulations will one day be amended to make retirement KITAS holders without an NWPW exempt from FISCAL.
In the meantime, there is a possible solution. An expat here informs me that the simplest way out is to register for tax, get that magic NWPW card, and provide the authorities with a Statutory Declaration that on a Retirement KITAS, the law forbids you to work. Therefore you are requesting an exemption from submitting tax returns because you have no income. Presto – no FISCAL. One word of caution: the law here is that you must have held your NWPW for one month before the zero FISCAL benefit kicks in. I’d better hurry if I want to make this happen before my trip to Singapore in one month and 2 days …
I’m going to test this out in the next day or so, and I’ll keep you posted as to the outcome.