Painless Taxes
    Category: Financial Revolution By : Shintya Felicitas Read : 655 Date : Friday, March 02, 2018 - 00:05:18




    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Nobody likes the hassle of paying taxes. To reduce that hassle, Frenchman Charles Guinot, 34, founded OnlinePajak, an online service that helps taxpayers calculate, pay and file their taxes. “We want to make tax payments completely painless,” says Charles. The founder, who also serves as chief executive, has firsthand experience when he arrived in Indonesia six years ago. “I realized that the process of paying taxes was quite painful here. Even if a company only earns almost zero, it still needed to do a lot of paperwork, and it was quite painful,” he says. He arrived here to help his father, Frédéric Guinot, the founder and chief executive of French trading company Farinia. Charles came to open the trading arm of Farinia, PT Vivia Indonesia.

    Charles does not have any background in taxes or accounting. He is graduated from Université de Technologie de Troyes, majoring in mechanical engineering and earned his master’s degree in robotic engineering from the Université de Technologie de Compiègne, both in France. To do PT Vivia Indonesia’s tax, he started to look into how he could optimize the processes, and what software or tools he could use to help calculate his taxes. He found nothing. But then instead of complaining, he decided to create a solution, not only for himself and his company, but also as a business, which is formally known as PT Achilles Advanced System.

    After two years of discussion with the Directorate General of Taxes (DJP) and his own research into tax regulations, he launched OnlinePajak in September 2015 in an official partnership with the DJP. The startup has grown rapidly. Within two years, it has gotten 500,000 users total registered and 100,000 companies to use the system. It has facilitated over $3 billion in tax payments, and now is responsible for about 4% of all taxes collected in the country.

    Around 40% of its users come from Java, and the rest are spread over Indonesia. Its biggest clients are including Telkomsel, Astra International and Kawan Lama group. Last August, Garuda Indonesia also became a client. “I was very happy, we got Garuda Indonesia as a client, and we never even talked to them, or even sent an email. Maybe it’s the power of word of mouth,” he laughs.

    The service doesn’t charge the government and individual taxpayers to use the service. He says he wants to keep free access at the core of the application. Its revenue stream comes from upselling users to premium services, such as helping them with payroll slips, as well as a connection with OnlinePajak partners such as human resources software Sleekr. “We focus more on companies because it’s where the tax money is anyway. Individual taxpayers only need to report their taxes once a year, while for company, it could be multiple times per month,” Charles says.

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