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Pizza reward for Indonesian tax agents hitting targets

Pizza reward for Indonesian tax agents hitting targets

JAKARTA: Indonesian tax offices that hit their collection targets last year were rewarded with pizzas for helping the government boost much-needed revenue in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Pizzas were delivered to staff at 66 offices after achieving their full targets, tax director-general Robert Pakpahan told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. A total of 141 tax offices across Indonesia hit 90% to 100% of their goals. It’s the way we appreciated them for their efforts,” Mr Pakpahan said. The tax agency made a big push last year to collect more taxes in a country where compliance is low. It collected 1,201.4 trillion rupiah ($89.5 billion) last year, including from the oil-and-gas industry and excluding customs and excise duties. That was 93% of its budgeted target, and 5.2% more than in 2016. Still, overall government revenue was almost $6 billion lower than expected last year, resulting in a budget deficit of 2.6% of gross domestic product, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday. Indonesia lags its peers on revenue collection, a factor that’s held back the economy from faster growth and credit-rating upgrades. Excluding receipts from the tax amnesty programme — which ran from July 2016 to March 2017 and earned the government more than $11 billion  the growth in tax revenue was even stronger, at 16%, Mr Pakpahan said. For 2018, the government has set an ambitious tax target of 1,386 trillion rupiah. Mr Pakpahan said he is upbeat about achieving it, pointing to a stronger economy and an increase in the number of people paying taxes.