"The trend at the banks to examine the accounts of their customers over tax payments is spreading. This is the trend of the US against
Asher's remarks followed Wednesday's report by "Globes" that Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) has begun sending letters to European customers asking them to present documentation from their countries of origin that the money deposited in accounts at the bank has been reported to the tax authorities.
"We're going to submit legislative amendments to include serious tax offenses as original offenses in the Prohibition of Money Laundering Law. This will help us deal with large-scale crimes," said Asher.
On the issue of the acquisition of Israeli companies, Asher said, "It happens that foreign companies buy shares in Israeli companies, and after a handsome exit, we have a situation of parent company-subsidiary, and after a while, all the intellectual property is sold to the parent company and the subsidiary is closed. Transactions are made a tenth of the value, which is unacceptable. We're dealing with this, and you can see that in the latest big deal, the sale was really in line with the company's value. We'll continue to verify that these things happen. We'll collect more, and we'll return the money to the people.
"At the same time, we have the duty to remove obstacles and help companies grow. It's true we've seen companies that have left and gone to Nasdaq, but if we want capital to be raised on the
As for taxes, Asher said, "There is no question that we'll lower the companies tax. We believe that companies support growth and jobs, and that it is proper to lower their tax rates."
Asher said that the tax burden on companies was under constant review. "I've established a team to examine whether the current tax plan is right or should be changed," he said. "We've seen quite a few companies using the current plan and reporting on results, but sometimes there is very aggressive tax planning. To deal with this, we've expanded filing requirements on activity and tax planning, and we've announced taxes on the distribution of dividends from valuation gains."
(c)2014 Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)
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