Offshore Spotlight Turns on Israel

August 17th, 2009

Globes Online, an Israeli business publication, has an article today detailing how the US crackdown on offshore tax evasion has reached Israel:

The war that US President Barack Obama is waging against concealment of assets and tax evasion, and the legislation against tax havens that he has been promoting, is extending beyond the borders of the US and liable to affect people who hold accounts at banks in Israel. Under us regulations, a US citizen who fails to report by the end of September 2009 any account worth more than $10,000 held in a non-US bank, a savings program or a fund, will be liable to a fine of $10,000 for each offence, even if it was committed without criminal intent.

As part of the tightening of supervision of taxpayers and in a bid to step up enforcement, the US tax authority has declared that it is giving a last opportunity to holders of foreign bank accounts to submit reports on their banking and financial activity overseas (FBAR). Criminal proceedings will be instituted against US citizens who fail to report by the end of September.

This is good news.  Israel is rarely mentioned as a tax haven, and is thus often overlooked.  Nevertheless, Richard Murphy and others at the Tax Justice Network will soon be publishing a report detailing exactly why Israel is a tax haven/secrecy jurisdiction.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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