Friday, March 26, 2010

Tax Office Fires Rp25 Bln Taxman Gayus Tambunan

Directorate General for Taxation at the Finance Ministry on Friday finally decided to sack tax officer Gayus Tambunan, who has been accused for corrupting tax payers money worth Rp 25 billion (US$2.6 million).
Director for internal compliance and human resource transformation at the tax office, Bambang Basuki, told reporters that Gayus was sacked for breaching civil servant code of ethic and disciplinary. He said the dismissal letter is expected to be signed by the director general for taxation Muhammad Tjiptardjo next week.
Gayus case hit headlines over the past few weeks after former national police detective chief Susno Duadji disclosed to the public that some senior police officers have been suspected to have taken bribe of up to Rp 24.5 billion in return for dropping Gayus case. Susno discovered later that Gayus bank account, which was frozen earlier, has been unblocked. He suspected the money has been taken by some senior police officers.
Susno who was a public enemy number one six months ago for describing the ‘war’ between KPK (corruption eradication committee) and the police over Bank Century fiasco just like “gecko versus crocodile” has earned public support. However, his move has angered the police. Susno has been questioned by the police and could face libel.
Meanwhile, Gayus who “officially” earned Rp 12.5 million ($1,315) a month, has hit headlines. Gayus was reported to have a uxury house in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, worth over a billion rupiah and an apartment. Gayus was reported to have fled Singapore. Why Singapore?
Gayus case has drawn public interest, with some launching a “don’t pay tax campaign" through facebook and other social network, with a clear message to the tax office – “we won’t pay tax until you clean your house. We will pay tax only if you convince us that our money will be used to build schools, roads, etc, not to enrich those crooks.” reported that Gayus often represented tax office in a dispute with large tax payers. And, he often won.
Is Gayus case an isolated phenomenon? Is he alone?
Gayus bosses – both Tjiptardjo and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati – were certainly not happy with the case. The case emerges at the time the tax office intensifies campaign, encouraging the public to pay tax. The finance minister has also intensified reformed in her office, including the tax office. The Gayus case tells part of the results.
Hopefully, the case would trigger further reform within the ministry. (Roffie Kurniawan)




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