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Foreign Exchange Transactions to Be Scrutinized

Large Transfers of Foreign Currency will Require Presentation of an Official Tax Registration Number.

(11/15/2008) In a move to restrict foreign exchange speculation, Bank Indonesia is clamping down on transactions exceeding US$10,000.

The new regulation issued by Bank Indonesia on Thursday, November 13, 2008, mandate that any transaction exceeding more than US$10,000 will only be allowed if "the underlying activity" can be substantiated. A Bank spokesman said the measured were intended to curb currency speculation and tax avoidance.

Those wishing to make large foreign exchange transactions will be required to present a Tax Payer Identification Number (NPWP) in order to complete a transaction.

According to the daily Kompas, all transactions of foreign exchange exceeding US$10,000 will be jointly monitored by Bank Indonesia and the tax office. Tax payers transferring funds exceeding their declared income will come under closer scrutiny by the tax office.

Many Unregistered Tax Payers

Despite an active effort by the tax department to encourage wage earners to obtain NPWPs, only 4 million "active" tax numbers are in place against and estimated 117 million wage earners nationwide; 25 million of which are estimated to be employed in the formal sector.