Currently, Indonesia continues to reform its tax policies and legislation. But, one thing seems to be neglected by policy makers is the absence of protection of corporate and tax whistleblower. Despite the significance of corporate whistleblower protection has been recognized for a long time ago, until now, there is no specific protection for tax whistleblower, and various secrecy and privacy regime relied upon are incapable of guaranteeing full protection. Unlike other developed countries, Indonesian is one of the countries which lack of protection of tax and corporate whistleblower.
There are several big cases that showed the need of tax whistleblower protection. For instance, the tax evasion case of Asian Agri was revealed due to the role of whistleblower who also the former financial auditor staff of this company. However, the important lessons from that case is that our legal framework failed to protect the whistleblower from criminalization and company’s fight back.
Whistleblowing plays a critical role in uncovering corporate and tax abuse. It is a key means of combating poor compliance cultures, by ensuring that corporations, officers and staff know that misconduct will be reported. In many cases, corporate crime is only detected because individuals come forward, sometimes at significant personal and financial risk.
Against this background, a greater protection for those who disclose information about tax abuse to public or to Directorate General of Taxation is necessary. We believe that the protection should ensure theirs confident of reporting the corporate tax abuses. It can be started by the additional provisions of the protection of tax whistleblower in the draft bills of general provision and tax procedure.
Lokataru, together with Indonesian tax justice forum, advocate this issue and initiate the protection of tax whistleblower in Indonesia. We works to advocate a proposal for tax legislation to introduce specific protection for tax and corporate whistleblowers. We also work to identify the options of legislative approaches that may be taken by government to broaden reform in this area.
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