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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Tax auditors in the spotlight

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 17 2013   /  08:27 am

The Supreme Court’s decision last month to punish the Asian Agri plantation group and its 14 subsidiaries with Rp 2.52 trillion (US$260 million) in back taxes and fines for tax evasion from 2002 to 2005 should be welcomed as a confidence-building landmark in the country’s fight against tax crime.

The tax fraud case, initially revealed in late 2006 by whistle-blower Vincentius Amin Susanto, Asian Agri’s former financial controller, was turned down by the Central Jakarta District Court and the Jakarta High Court last year, arguing that the case was an administrative tax case that it should be handled by the tax court.

The big question now after the Supreme Court’s verdict is how such a massive case of tax evasion, committed by inflating production costs, under-pricing export sales and transfer-pricing practices, could have taken place continuously for four years witho...