Special Team to Investigative ‘Ghost Tax’

SINGARAJA

The newly installed head of Buleleng Revenue Agency Ida Bagus Puja Erawan has set up a special investigative team to find out about the “ghost tax”, a levy allegedly collected in the last 14 years by the agency’s staff from water-sports operators in the regency.

“I was shocked when a local councilor Dewa Putu Tjakra informed me about the levy and that the collection of the levy has been carried out from 1995-2009,” Erawan said, stressing that the regency had no bylaw that regulated levies on water-sports operators.

Moreover, the authority to collect levies from water-sports operators is the jurisdiction of the provincial administration.

Erawan suspected that the collected money was likely being pocketed by the agency’s staff, who had come up with the idea of imposing the levy known among the water-sports operators as the “diving duty”.

“It was an illegal levy and the team will investigate the staff involved in the collection of the levy as well as what was happened to the money collected,” he said, promising firm measures against any guilty parties.

Dewa Putu Tjakra disclosed that the annual levy ranged from Rp 5 million (US$520) to Rp 10 million per operator.



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