The 2016 Tax Amnesty Law: Unveiling Beneficial Owners?

This article seeks to establish the link between the rules on data and information management in the 2016 Indonesian Tax Amnesty Law and efforts to unveil beneficial ownership. The author addresses the importance for future tax compliance of including in the law detailed provisions on specification, maintenance and utilization of data, and information on beneficial owners of assets and income. He finds that the benefits granted by the tax amnesty are sufficient to ensure that declarations of onshore and offshore ownership of assets and income provide information that would otherwise be absent by enforcement of procedural tax laws. However, generic specification of data and information has hindered the opportunity for the government to discover beneficial ownership of assets. The tax amnesty legislation and its implementing regulations did not address the nature of business and purpose of transactions, both of which may determine whether a corporate or individual is the beneficial owner of income for tax treaty purposes. It is therefore arguable whether data and information acquired during the tax amnesty period will be useful for future tax compliance purposes.