(by Deviana Kurniawati)
Last couples of day, the
global citizen are shocked by the cracking of a top-secret data well-known as
Panama Papers. These data was once occupied by a Panama-based law firm Mossack
Fonseca. The leak of the data was indeed the biggest in the history. In 2013,
there were 260 Gigabytes data of Offshore Secrets leaked to public. This very
year, the record was crashed since 2.6 Terabytes data were thrown before our
eyes as reported by The Guardian.
Some might raise a question: To what extent these data need to be paid
attention? Frankly speaking, that huge amount of data was in the form of at
least 11.5 million documents not to mention photos and files about offshore
investment ran by super-rich conglomerates all over the world. Moreover, these
investments are the ones settled in the tax haven countries such as Bahama,
Virgin Islands, Panama, etc.
Papers was first revealed by a German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Later, this information was given to ICIJ
(International Consortium of Investigative Journalists). The chain is not
finished yet as they also gave it to the media having broader network as BBC.
That was how it was established until now we can easily browse it. Pros and
cons are everywhere since not many people know about this practice in advance.
might as well review what offshore investment is as it is the focal point of
the data. In the world of investment, this act is commonly known moreover for
those who are high-profiled investors. Investing in tax havens is surely
promising in terms of reducing paid tax every period. It is undeniable that the
progressive tax rate as applied in Indonesia might be the greatest factor why
businessmen “ran off” their asset abroad. It would be better and productive to
keep their asset hidden on some companies running in tax-free countries.
is the key why offshore investments are as interesting as it is. By keeping the
asset nominal hidden, an investor could save the tax payment. This is so close
from what is so called as tax evasion. They can do such this thing by—for
instance, having third parties to do the paperwork to make the activity
laundry and tax evasion, offshore investment is considered legal. However, many
countries have pointed about their objection against this act. US have
restricted their tax policies to prevent tax loss. On the other hand, EU try to
have these companies disclose the name of the investors under the idea of
Comes First or Business Does?
Panama Papers gave such a commotion in the world since the unpredictable names
came to surface. Maybe, Pakistanis did not wonder that their ex-PM managed to
have such a billion dollars outside their country. Maybe, British people also
did not ever imagine that their David Cameron was also getting tied with this
case. The Chinese communist party elites were also included that this news was
considered defying their anti-corruption campaigns. Even the news about Panama
Papers is all blocked by the government.
leaders and elites are way all around internet. Putin and his 2 billion dollars
are still surprising. In Indonesia itself, there are names related to the
government included. Not only businessmen but also politicians and
government-related people are in the lines.
In the end, what the
Panama Papers tried to tell is that some people—even who work in
governance—still treat business first. It would be an irony if they told their
people to pay tax regularly and diligently while they themselves try to avoid
it. These popular and impactful people should be the role model yet doing this
act seems being unfaithful to the regulation itself. In UK, there have been
demonstrations forcing Cameron to dethrone after his changing comments
concerning Panama Papers. The implication this far is that we finally realize
there are so many attempts to dodge tax payments out there in the world and
gain profit underground. Whether it must be banned—the tax haven operation—or
not is still questionable though. We as the part of a nation who pay tax
certainly deserve transparency no matter what because there may be clean
practices in which need no bad judgment as well as dirty transactions that
needs further investigation.***