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Paying for the Right to Work

Bali's Capital of Denpasar Gets a Windfall from $100 Per Month Foreign Worker Tax

(4/21/2014) The recent decentralization to regencies and municipalities to levy the US$100 per month “training” fee (IMTA) levied on foreign workers has netted the Denpasar metropolitan government a windfall of Rp. 2.5 billion (US$217,000) during the first three months of 2014.

This far exceeds the modest target of Rp. 1 billion for the entire year initially set by the Social and Manpower Department, according to Made Erwin Suryadarma Sena who heads that department of the Denpasar Government.

Suryadarma said the surge in funds was due, in part, to payments made by foreign workers outstanding from 2013.

At the same time, the government of Denpasar - in cooperation with police, immigration and local law enforcement agencies, is stepping up enforcement on Denpasar business to ensure that all foreigners working in the city are registered, holding working permits and paying the IMTA fee to the municipality.

Suryadarma suspects many companies are underreporting the number of expatriates in their employment and, in many cases, failing to obtain any permit at all.

Denpasar currently estimates 300 expatriates are working in the capital and covered by the proper working permits.