Sat, 21 Feb 2004

Tenants report management over alleged fraudulent tax

Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Tenants of Pulomas apartments in East Jakarta reported to the police on Thursday that the managing company of the city-run apartments, PT Pulomas Jaya, had allegedly committed tax fraud.

A lawyer representing the Forum of Pulomas Apartments Tenants, Heppy WK, said that the tenants had been paying the management, formerly Yayasan Pulomas foundation, the equivalent of 10 percent of their rent every month since 1989, for what they thought was value-added tax (VAT).

"But we recently found out that the management had only been taxed since it was established as a company in 1996," he said.

In January, the tenants forum, which had been established in December 2003, demanded that the management provide them with tax receipts.

Nelson Kullit, a tenant of the apartments since 1990, said he had not been shown a single receipt during his time at Pulomas.

PT Pulomas Jaya finally complied, but only gave the tenants tax receipts for each month of 2003.

The receipts stated that PT Pulomas Jaya had been obliged to pay VAT since 1996, which the tenants saw as an indication of tax fraud. They wondered where their payments from 1989 to 1995 had gone.

The forum accused the management of abusing their position. Heppy, who is also one of the tenants, hoped that the management would be charged under Article 374 of the Criminal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The Forum comprises of 238 people from among those who live in PT Pulomas Jaya's 592 apartments.

Heppy added that the forum would also file a complaint over alleged document fraud.

He said that the management had been irritated by the existence of the forum and tried to prevent the members from using a common room, which was actually a public meeting room for the tenants.

"When the forum asked to use the common room, the management said that we had to pay to use it," said Heppy.

"They presented us with a list of rules, but that list was a fake. Every tenant has a copy of the rules, which doesn't mention paying to use the common room," he remarked.

The management of PT Pulomas Jaya could not be reached for comment.