The Jakarta Post
The Taxation Directorate General has cancelled direct face-to-face services and is advising all taxpayers to use online facilities for filing their annual tax returns (SPTs) in compliance with the government's social distancing policy to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
The tax office has also postponed the deadline for tax returns from March 31 to April 30, “to ease and provide certainty to individual taxpayers”, it said in a statement on Sunday.
“In addition to taxation services, [all] communication on tax supervision and investigations will be conducted by mail and email correspondence, phone calls, video conferences and other online channels,” it added.
Taxpayers may submit other tax-related forms, including application and registration forms, using the tax office’s online channels or by email.
Read also: Stay home, President says
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called on all citizens on Sunday to practice social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country, urging people to work, study and worship at home.
By Sunday afternoon, the government had announced 117 confirmed cases, including five deaths from the pneumonia-like illness that is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has taken to social media to communicate the tax office's new policies.
"We ask taxpayers to file their tax returns online or through the post office, and to avoid face-to-face interactions to minimize the potential for transmission," Sri Mulyani posted on her Instagram account on Sunday.
The tax office's data shows that 7.5 million taxpayers had filed their annual tax returns by Monday morning, an increase from 6.9 million during the same period last year. Meanwhile, more than 306,464 taxpayers had filed their tax returns in person this year, compared to 407,044 last year.
“We expect that the tax revenue will be maintained this year, despite the economic uncertainty,” said Sri Mulyani.
Slower growth in both the global and domestic economies are expected this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted business activities and caused an unforeseen obstacle to tax collection.
The government earned state revenue of Rp 103.7 trillion (US$7.25 billion) in January, down 4.6 percent year-on-year. It collected Rp 84.7 trillion in taxes that same month, down 6 percent from January 2019.