The One Justice Foundation (YSK) and the Indonesian People's Struggle Union (SPRI) are filing for a judicial review of 11 of the 27 articles in the Tax Amnesty Law.
Jokowi, Bambang Brojonegoro, Ken Dwijugisteadi
ARIEF KAMALUDIN | KATADATA

President Joko Widodo has formed a legal team to counter any legal challenges to the new law, following the filing of a judicial review with the Constitutional Court. Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs DarminNasutionsaid the President has asked that any legal challenges to the tax amnesty policy be handled properly.

The President has instructed relevant ministries to coordinate. Preparations are being made for discussions between the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Hamonangan Laoly, Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.

“I will invite the ministers and cabinet secretary to a preliminary meeting. And then we will decide who will be involved," Darmin said in Jakarta Tuesday (12/7). (Read: Government Warns Against Plans to Go to Court overTax Amnesty Law).

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The plan is that the government will hold a meeting tomorrow to form a defence team counter this call for a judicial review. "The President has asked for immediate coordination to establish the team after formal invitations have been issued so that we can prepare a defence," he said. (Read: Businesses Still Interested in Tax Amnesty despite Threat of Lawsuits).

Last weekend, the One Justice Foundation (YSK) and the Indonesian People's Struggle Union (SPRI) announced that they are challenging the Tax Amnesty Law, which was passed by the House of Representatives (DPR) at the end of last month. The complaint is expected to be dealt with no later than the end of July.

Article 1 clause 1 defines a tax amnesty as the writing off of taxes payable, freeing taxpayers from administrative and criminal sanctions by payment of a redemption fee as set forth in the law. Article 22 offers immunity to officials who have the authority to implement this regulation.

Article 22 states that "Ministers, Deputy Ministers, employees of the Finance Ministry, and other parties involved in the implementation of the tax amnesty, cannot be reported, sued, questioned, investigated or prosecuted, either under or civil or criminal provisions, if in the performance of their duties they acted in good faith and in accordance with the statutory provisions."

Previously, Bambang Brodjonegoro said that litigation of this kind is commonplace in democracies. However, the minister reiterated that this law was drafted in the interest of the state, not for personal interests. "Bottom line, it (was drafted) in the interests of the state, not in the interest of individuals, groups, or foreign parties," Bambang said. (See: Finance Minister Releases 3 Technical Rules on Tax Amnesty This Week).

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry's Director General of Tax Ken Dwijugiasteadi said that if there were no tax amnesty, the government would use enforce the law requiring people to pay their taxes. He asked that those filing for a judicial review to understand the substance of the tax amnesty and taxation, such as the validity of the Tax Notice (SPT) and the obligation to complete tax returns truthfully.

Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo is confident that the government will win the lawsuit, considering the time and preparation that went into drafting this law, and the fact that it accommodated a variety of scenarios.

"The government and the House of Representatives have prepared for this. They discussed it very carefully. The law can be tested in court, but there shouldn’t be any fear that it (the tax amnesty) will be cancelled," Agus said. (Read: Government to Appoint 7 Banks to Absorb Tax Amnesty Proceeds).