No Change in Fiscal Tax Policy: Official

SEMINYAK ~ Foreign residents and Indonesians traveling abroad are still required to pay a so-called fiscal tax upon departure, a tax official told The Bali Times on Thursday, denying rumors this week based on erroneous media reports that it had been scrapped.

Earlier reports that the controversial policy had been lifted and that no such fees was now levied on residents exiting the country were false, a spokesman for the Bali Tax Office, Rizal Kurniawan, said.

“There is no change in the policy; there is no free fiscal (tax) for expatriates or Indonesians when they leave Indonesia,” he said.

Expatriates were treated the same as Indonesian citizens when it came to paying fiscal tax, he added.

Under Minister of Finance Decree No. 30/KMK.04/98, fiscal tax rates are set at Rp1 million (US$110) for departure by air, Rp500,000 by sea and Rp250,000 by land.

But in an era of cheap air travel provided by a mushrooming budget airline sector, many complain that the fiscal tax is burdensome because in some cases it can cost more than airplane tickets themselves.

Flying with the region’s most successful no-frills carrier, AirAsia, from Bali to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur for a two-day trip on the weekend of May 4 cost Rp859,998 for the cheapest return ticket at the airline’s booking website on Thursday morning.

That excludes other tariffs like airport tax of Rp100,000 for overseas destinations and necessary exit-permit stamps in foreign residents’ passports that could add Rp350,000 or more.

However, the government points out that if a trip is for business purposes, the fiscal tax can be used as credit in employers’ annual tax payments. For those paying fiscal tax and traveling overseas for leisure or personal reasons, it can be used as credit on their personal income tax.

In addition, foreigners living in Indonesia and working for representative offices of overseas firms can be exempt from paying fiscal tax.

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