Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The tax office remains confident of achieving its full-year tax target, despite collecting only 42 percent of the figure in the first half of the year, or Rp 265.18 trillion (US$28.82 billion).
Director general for taxation at the Finance Ministry, Darmin Nasution, said Monday the first semester collection was 50.8 percent higher than that booked in the first half of last year, and that collection was typically higher in the second half of a year.
"Non-oil-and-gas tax revenue grew 48.38 percent, far higher than in the past five years, which averaged 16.58 percent," Darmin said.
Non-oil-and-gas tax revenue in the first semester of 2008 reached Rp 230.83 trillion, while oil-and-gas tax revenue was Rp 34.35 trillion.
"It shows the economy grew, and that the directorate general of taxation succeeded with its modernization, intensification and extension programs," he said.
Between January and June, non-oil-and-gas income tax reached Rp 129.66 trillion, up 39.44 percent from the same period in 2007; value added tax, including luxury tax, reached Rp 87.12 trillion, up 49.12 percent, while land and building use tax reached Rp 2.22 trillion, up 40.42 percent.
Darmin said based on tax collection in the first semester of 2008, he expected tax revenue would before the end of the year surpass the government's 2008 state budget target of Rp 609.23 trillion.
Tax income is the largest contributor to the state budget's total revenue.
The directorate general of taxation said it would summon taxpayers suspected of embezzling. Darmin's office has mapped the profile of businesses engaging in the palm oil, real estate, coal sectors.
"We will map the pulp and paper sector soon," Darmin said.
The tax office is currently involved in a tax dispute with palm oil company PT Asian Agri, which is controlled by Sukanto Tanoto -- a tycoon involved in paper, palm oil and construction operations.