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Legal Certainty for Palm Oil Business

Foto by Fitra Yogi/Sawit Fest 2021
Legal Certainty for Palm Oil Business

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – Many threats and issues in palm oil businesses could directly implicate to palm oil business sustainability in the future. It practically would threaten taxes for the country from this sector.

Palm oil business issues would deliver impacts for the future sustainability, for instance, the regions where palm oil development always face issues, such as, security, unofficial payment would burden every planter.

This condition would make the planters’ burden heavier, namely in the concept of regional autonomy because this delivers chances to make ‘small kings’ that have big power in a region.

For instance, in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province. When Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM) took place, the planters that were mostly develop theirs in remote areas, should pay ‘tribute’ for their business operation.

That is why, the tax officers in the field should understand the model of unofficial payment so that they know the cash flow that planters paid for.

It is also important that the tax officials know the costs spent by the planters. The knowledge should be real about numbers of taxes and values to pay for by the planters

The more ‘illegal’ spent, the less interesting palm oil business would be because there would be decreasing income because of non-maximal tax payment.

It needs fast and concrete move for the government to holistically regulate about palm oil industries from upstream to downstream sectors to solve the issue.

It needs to get the same understanding for every related party in order to do the same things and procedure mechanism would be made based on the understandings and should have integration to make palm oil industries go forward.

Palm oil development should be the first base for palm oil plantation centers to develop their regions as the business power, for instance, North Sumatera Province. It massively has potential and it was the first palm oil development commercially in this country.

Not only palm oil business development, there would be supporting industries to welfare many parties, including the regional government.

It is significant to develop businesses in the regions to support the local government to pay tax and the region would be developing and the people would be better.

Tax, as the mainstay income in the region would be a reliable potential to escalate the same welfare.

The welfare would be realized if there is legal certainty that regulate (a) businesses well and right. The legal certainty is very needed to manage planters as taxpayers and the tax officials would be as the extension of the government.

Legal certainty should be the front commander to regulate every policy needed. Tax Law, Chapter 34 confidentially guarantees every taxpayer that they should inform the actual information and can ask every tax official that what taxpayer told would be confidential.

But if there is bigger interest, it needs to be decided for the party that has authority, such as, the interests of Corruption Eradication Commission.

The facts showed every planter hardly paid for illegal cash from every business activity and the numbers got bigger. It is hardly no way and legal certainty that secure palm oil business from the illegal cash.

That is why it needs the support from the authority to secure palm oil business so that there would be bigger illegal payment and making planters more difficult in the future.

How much money that taxpayers as stakeholders pay, they have obligation to report theirs to tax officials and the receipt to pay taxes as the revenue. While ‘illegal’ cash is not reported because there is no supporting evidence. Tax case happened in 2010 as the sample for internal tax institution to improve and escalate the knowledge. For example, income tax that dragged big companies should actually be solved fast because the mistake was not from them.

Actually, income tax evasion happened for the trader’s action that wanted to get income tax cash that the big companies paid for. As the result, income tax was not paid for to the country and became a tax case that dragged many parties.

Now there is a regulation about income tax Number 42 Chapter F that regulates a buyer is not in charge about income tax that he has paid for. This is the answer on the issue that also happened in 2010.

Tax official should do his obligation according to the regulation and available ethic code. He should not break the regulation or even extort taxpayers. If there is violation, tax official should be criminally charged based on Criminal Law.

As the result, if he is sentenced guilty by the court, he would be put in jail and fired as government’s officer.

In the contrary, taxpayers should be honest and open for tax official. If they intentionally told wrong information, just like the tax official, they would be facing the laws.

One thing for sure, both parties have the same level of law to manage their works and obligation as well as possible. The partnership between tax official and taxpayer (stakeholder) would be the success to develop the future palm oil regions, just like in North Sumatera Province.

Tax slogan says, not paying tax today, what the world would say?

By: Yusri Natar Nasution /North Sumatera I Tax  Office

Source: Majalah InfoSAWIT, August 2011