Indonesia officially launches electronic stamps

JAKARTA, Oct 3 (Xinhua): Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has officially launched an electronic seal with a nominal value of 10,000 rupiahs (US$0.70) per stamp which can give legal certainty to electronic documents.

According to the minister, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the application of digital technology, including in transactions using no papers.

"We are forced by circumstances to make many transactions switch to digital platforms. Transactions with significant value require physical seals to be affixed to transaction documents, while digital transactions use electronic documents," Indrawati said at the electronic seal launch in the capital Jakarta.

In accordance with the law, the Indonesian government has acknowledged that an electronic document is a legal one that can be an object of a stamp duty.

In one year's time, the Indonesian finance ministry's Directorate General of Taxes made the necessary technical preparations for stamp duty, in collaboration with the state-owned banknote printer and mint Perum Peruri to realize what is known as an e-seal or electronic seal, said the minister.

Perum Peruri has been appointed by the government as the official manufacturer of electronic stamps in the Southeast Asian country.

The electronic stamps will come into use gradually in Indonesia, with first users being state-owned banks, Indrawati said.

She said the Directorate General of Taxes and Perum Peruri will monitor the security of electronic stamps to avert crimes including counterfeiting.

The minister also asked the Directorate General of Taxes and Perum Peruri to keep educating the public on the security of electronic documents and electronic stamps.

Indrawati said she expects electronic stamps will make it easier for people to pay taxes through stamp duty.

Suryo Utomo, director general of taxes, hoped that the electronic seal can facilitate public transactions, especially electronically, and reduce stamp counterfeiting.

The electronic seals were also expected to have a positive impact to state revenues, he said on Friday, adding that his agency is collaborating with Perum Peruri, the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), and the supervisory agency on finance and development BPKP to control the use of electronic stamps.

E-stamps provide opportunities and convenience for the public to carry out their tax obligations, especially related to civil transactions between two parties with documents that are objects of stamp duty, said Utomo.

The state-owned Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) has voiced support for the use of electronic seals on electronic documents as one of the steps to realize digital transformation.

"The application of electronic seals on electronic documents is a concrete manifestation of the digital transformation that is also being carried out by BNI," the bank's director for small and medium-sized businesses, Muhammad Iqbal, said in a statement released on Saturday.

Iqbal said that as a state-owned bank, BNI has been committed to using electronic seals within the BNI group to support digital financial transactions in Indonesia.

In the future, e-stamps will be used in various public electronic transactions that belong to the category of transactions subject to stamp duty, he said.

The e-stamp application, he said, will provide legal certainty for electronic documents and optimize state revenues at the current stamp duty rates. - Xinhua

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