Fri, 03 Nov 2000

Property seized over tax evasion

JAKARTA (JP): The West Jakarta Mayoralty confiscated several pieces of property on Thursday due to the owners' failure to pay taxes for three years, resulting in nearly Rp 150 million (US$15,789) in losses to the city.

West Jakarta Mayor Sarimun Hadisaputra said the confiscated property, consisting of a parcel of land and two small buildings belonging to two separate companies, were seized because the land and building taxes had not been paid.

"This is only the first day. We'll continue confiscating property because there are some 35 more (places) in West Jakarta with taxes that are unpaid," Sarimun told reporters.

One of the buildings seized, owned by PT Multi Murni, had taxes of Rp 45,684,225 owing, while the second, belonging to PT Insan Perwira Megah, had Rp 52,912,921 due in taxes. Meanwhile, taxes amounting to Rp 39,502,293 have yet to be paid on a plot of land belonging to businessman Abdullah Jufri.

"They have been delaying paying taxes for the last three years. We have sent them warning letters, but they still don't pay," Sarimun said.

"However, there are some parcels of land with unclear status. So it is impossible for us to collect taxes," he added.

The owners of the seized property were not available for comment on Thursday.

The head of the West Jakarta administration office, Mardani, told reporters that officials had not faced any resistance from the owners as the two buildings were sealed off early in the morning before employees arrived.

"They might have expected this (confiscation) because we had informed them earlier that we would be restricting access to their buildings," he said.

He said his office initially planned to confiscate four pieces of property on Thursday. "However, one of the owners, Arnold Gultom, paid his outstanding tax of Rp 21 million on Wednesday afternoon."

Mardani said his office would seize 35 more pieces of property, consisting of private homes and small office buildings, with overdue taxes worth Rp 3,086,580,903.

"The largest amount owing is for a building belonging to PT Sinar Slipi Sejahtera, which is owned by former president Soeharto's eldest daughter Siti Hardiyanti Indra Rukmana. Taxes amounting to Rp 2.2 billion have not been paid on it for the last five years.

"That building is our next target," Mardani said.

Other buildings due to be confiscated are the Permata Surya Apartment in Cengkareng, the Timor car showroom belonging to businessman Sugianto in the Tanjung Duren area and a building belonging to PT Wisesa Pancoran in the Pinangsia area.

Article 39 of Law No. 9/1994 on Taxes stipulates that offenders face a maximum punishment of six years in prison and a maximum fine equal to four times the amount of unpaid taxes if convicted of evading taxes. (dja)