Indonesia proposes e-commerce tax application at Asean Summit

Indonesia proposes e-commerce tax application at Asean Summit

An employee was showing credit cards with chip technology. The Central Bank or Bank of Indonesia (BI) is pushing the banking industry to accelerate migration process of customers' credit cards from the 'magnetic strip'e to 'chip' to increase the security and comfort. (ANTARA PHOTO/Sigid Kurniawan)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia highlighted two issues in the field of digital economy at the 32nd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore.

The issues covered a level playing field aimed at reaching a balance as well as tax and custom tariffs during e-commerce transactions.

Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita stated at the summit in Singapore on Saturday that in the midst of development, ASEAN member countries have agreed to intensify solidarity in the economic and trade fields.

"We are all preparing to enter the era of digital economy," he noted.

He also revealed that Indonesia had brought up two issues, including the notion that all parties involved in the ASEAN need to offer an equal, level playing field between conventional and digital businesses.

"As an illustration, from the perspective of taxes, they also need to be treated in the same way," he added.

The second issue, as earlier discussed by Indonesia with the World Trade Organization (WTO), is the application of customs and tax fees on goods and services offered through electronic commerce.

"They are not applying the moratorium, but we can agree to apply it on the transmission fees," he added.

During his meeting with Director General of the WTO in Argentina last year, Minister Lukita had discussed the possible application of voluntary customs fees for goods and services traded through electronic transactions and transmission. The practices will then be handed over to each country.

The goods and services mentioned will include e-books, digital music, accounting services, and architecture services.

Meanwhile, electronic transmission services will still be included in the moratorium, so no customs and tax fees will be imposed on them.

He further revealed that ASEAN member countries have yet to gain full understanding of the matter.

"Thailand had submitted its inquiries to us on the issue and that was what we had brought up with the WTO as well," he stated.

To this end, he expressed optimism that the ASEAN would be truly ready in entering the era of digital economy with a more matured preparation.