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While traveling in Sumatra & Java, I never seen (or noticed) a 10% government tourist tax.

When arriving in Bali, many restaurant (& even homestays) display an additional 10% government tourist tax at the bottom of the menu. While some others do NOT add this tax, but indicate a "10% government tourist tax included" in the menu.

My question actually has several points:

  • Does this 10% government tourist tax actually exist?

If this 10% government tourist tax actually exist:

  1. Is this tax applicable in the whole country or only in parts of it (i.e. Bali)?
  2. Is there no mandatory standard when displaying prices (either always incl. that tax, or always adding the tax separately)?
  3. Who must actually apply this tax? I often eat in a local warung for 10'000 IDR (or stay in a losmen), I doubt the owner give 10% of that to the government.
  • 4
    Localized tourism taxes are not unusual and yes Bali does have some. The decision to include it or charge it seperately is up to a business and both versions are fairly common. Losman, likely don't collect it or pay it, perhaps don't pay any government fees, taxes or license, such in the way in SE Asia. – user13044 Jun 26 '15 at 4:25
  • @Tom do you have any sources regarding this topic? In the end it all seems as bit of a mess... – Adrien Be Jun 26 '15 at 14:07
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    No linkable sources, just 25 years of dealing with SE Asian tiurism. – user13044 Jun 26 '15 at 14:11
  • @Tom sounds like a pretty good source to me :) – Adrien Be Jun 26 '15 at 14:12
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The tourist tax is a legitimate tax, and it varies across Indonesia because it is applied at the local district level rather than as a national tax. Areas that are more likely to see tourist activity and do not have other income sources are those most likely to apply a tourist tax, with Bali being a prime example.

The best source I've found for this information are non-governmental sites:

The tax is a regional tax called PB1 or PHR (Hotel and Restaurant Tax) of 10%. It is collected by a Kabupaten (Regency) or a City, like Jakarta DKI.

Another reference:

District governments (kabupatens) are authorised to levy the following six taxes:

  • Advertisement tax: 25 percent on annual value of advertising
  • Base mineral extraction tax: 20 percent on market value of extraction
  • Entertainment tax: imposed as a percentage of ticket price - maximum 35 percent
  • Hotel and restaurant tax: 10 percent
  • Street lighting tax: tax on electricity consumption - 10 percent maximum
  • Water tax: maximum levy of 20 percent on a complicated base involving water usage

There is no mandatory standard as to how the tax should be applied and collected, e.g. it could be included in the overall charge or it could be listed separately.

It appears that, as you note, application of the tax varies. Unfortunately I can't find a reference to what is considered a "restaurant", as I suspect that is part of why some don't collect it, but it may also be applied only to those catering to a tourist base in some cases (not unusual outside of Indonesia).

  • Very interesting. And as pointed by Tom in a comment to my question, whether to include the tax in displayed prices or add it separately seems up to the business owners. And some businesses seem to entirely avoid to pay that tax somehow, maybe because they are "unofficial", or very small, or focused on providing services for local people (i.e. Losmen and small local Warungs) – Adrien Be Jul 14 '15 at 0:59

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