Panama Paper trail sniffed

Indonesia is sifting through the Panama Papers to see if there are any US-based tech companies it can sting for back taxes.

Reuters is reporting that finance minister Bambang Brodjonegoro has nominated Yahoo!, Twitter, Google and Facebook as being of interest to the country.

The companies pay corporate income tax in Indonesia, but the minister seems to think some revenue may head offshore without attracting the local value-added tax.

Brodjonegoro wants a cut of the online advertising market in his country, which the finance ministry estimates at US$800 million annually, all of which the ministry described as untaxed.

A statement on the ministry's Website says the Panama Papers will be examined to “reconfirm and complement” the limited data Indonesia currently has about the use of offshore accounts.

The country is currently debating tax amnesty legislation, in the hope that letting taxpayers repatriate funds in return for a reduced penalty would bring home at least some of the roughly US$866 billion (11.4 quadrillion Indonesian rupees) held offshore. ®

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