Since 2019, Capabuild has worked closely with the Financial Education and Training Agency (FETA) within the Ministry of Finance, which is engaged in the training of approximately 20,000 tax officers.
In April 2019, we started the first program with a focus on taxation issues in the digital economy, which ran from April 2019 to January 2020. This included a five-day workshop presented by Prosus/Naspers on cooperative compliance, and DLA Piper on trends in indirect taxation in the digital economy.
In 2020, we continued with an extensive webinar program on trade, tax and treaties linking tax with global trade and investment policies. We assisted FETA to establish a multidisciplinary forum with government representatives from 8 different government agencies dealing with trade, investment and taxation.
Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, Capabuild’s collaboration with the Financial Education and Training Agency (FETA) has grown, with the delivery of two intensive webinars across 2020 and 2021. Moving to an online format, we co-designed a program that included a wide variety of views for the multidisciplinary audience. In July and August of 2020 our first webinar focussed on the intersection of trade, tax, and treaties. Expertly moderated by the FETA team, it featured presentations from Capabuild trainers as well as experts from the Dutch Foreign Ministry, Naspers/Prosus, Deloitte, the UN, UK Revenue Department and others. Engaged through online learning tools and interactive sessions, the high-level officials were immersed in the dynamics of global taxation. Participants brought back to their Government Ministries an increased awareness of future scenarios, and the vital role Indonesia can play in a fairer global tax landscape.
Capabuild was invited to follow up with another online webinar series in June and July of 2021, focussing on the art of negotiating tax treaties. Our network of in-house trainers, experts from the global South, donors, and specialists from international organisations brought a dynamic take to Double Tax Agreements (DTA); speakers from every continent bar Antarctica joined the discussion! Capabuild facilitated a scope of perspectives, allowing participants and presenters to debate advice on DTAs from the United Nations, OECD and other countries from the global South. This South-South link proved profound as negotiators from Argentina, India, and Mercy Mbithi of our partner CFS empathised with the difficulties of being heard in global forums. Capabuild gives a voice to all views, and Deloitte and other private enterprises added their important perspectives on attracting foreign investment and level playing fields. Using case studies, breakout rooms, and a constant interactivity with the audience, the webinars have built on the expertise of the participating Indonesian Ministries, Capabuild and FETA, and we continue to work with them on ongoing projects.
Capabuild has built a close working relationship with PKN Stan, a large Finance University affiliated with the Indonesian Government. In mid-2021, a collaborative approach led to the co-design of a series of webinars delivered to students, lecturers and observers from the civil service, justice system and community-based organisations. Designed for students in their second and third year of financial degrees, our speakers provided a base understanding of current trends in global taxation and policies and sought to empower the students on the importance of tax to Indonesia’s development. Commencing in April, the first webinar asked the question ‘Tax avoidance in the digital era: a necessary evil?’ Capabuild’s in-house trainers presented on the topic while fielding questions and commenting on the survey responses of the audience of over 400. The session in June brought students discussion and debate around the Arm’s Length Principle and asked the question, ‘is it here to stay?’ After engaging presentations shaped by audience responses, Capabuild presenters joined Professor Kosugi from Japan for a roundtable discussion with students. The webinars continued to reach a wide audience of future tax professionals with the third webinar, this time focussed on the question of ‘The OECD’s way of Taxing e-commerce; Yay or nay?’, with academic Martin de Wilde and renowned tax intellectual Anna Gunn giving their take. By July, the final topic of ‘Tax us if you can’, brought in the contrasting observations of the Asian Development Bank, Indonesian civil society organisations and Capabuild trainers, as we continued the aim of empowering the global South to make autonomous decisions. The hundreds of participants across the webinar series will bring their understanding of global tax and its vital role into the rest of their studies, while adding to our understanding of how the next generation of Indonesians views their role. The interactive talk-show format, with trademark high production, diversity of views and high participant engagement allows us to better understand how well the training is received, the levels of understanding it improves, and the empowerment it provides.