220 Israelis warned over unreported foreign accounts

Published date22 November 2022
Publication titleGlobes (Rishon LeZion, Israel)
The sought after "cooperation" is in practice a demand from the Israel Tax Authority, headed by Eran Yaacov, from the Israelis who received the letters to reveal all the income that they have hidden to date in overseas bank accounts. Each letter had a different year from which to report and a different tax assessor's office, individually tailored according to the information received. But the meaning of each letter was the same - the Israel Tax Authority is telling each recipient that they have been caught out over their overseas bank accounts and are now being given a chance to report it. An income tax file has been opened for them and they are now expected to report their income

Later in the letter - under the heading "Explanation on filing reports for those holding a bank account outside of Israel" - the Israel Tax Authority explains to the recipients, "From data in the possession of the Tax Authority it appears that you hold an account in a banking corporation outside of Israel, and therefore you are required to submit an annual report to the Tax Authority."

The Authority refers the recipients to the provisions of Section 131 of the Income Tax Ordinance, according to which an individual resident of Israel must, among other things, submit an annual report to the Tax Authority, if one of two conditions is met: holding an account in a banking corporation outside Israel whose balance in the tax year exceeds NIS 1.87 million, and the income generated in the account exceeds NIS 337,000 in the tax year; and the holding of the account in a banking corporation outside of Israel in which revenue grew for which tax advances were not paid legally."

The 220 letters sent out earlier this month are part of a national campaign by the Israel Tax Authority "to find individuals who hold bank accounts outside of Israel". In the coming months, the Israel Tax Authority will send out hundreds of hundreds more such letters to citizens, including a demand to open a file and file reports according to Section 131 of the Income Tax Ordinance.

The letters are being sent following receipt of 90 lists given to the Israel Tax Authority from tax authorities around the world, through which it was revealed where the Israelis keep accounts that they have not reported until now. The countries in which the largest amount of accounts in the name of Israelis have been reported so far are: the US (about 19% of all the accounts reported), Switzerland (10.5%), UK (9.6%), France (6.1%) and...

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