As for the Tax Authority's capabilities in uncovering Israelis' money overseas, Arditi said, "In the past it was taboo to talk about people with a foreign bank account. No one knew about it and the chances that the Tax Authority would receive information about it was zero. But things have changed. Countries have grasped the need to share information, and banks are now required to examine the sources of their customers' money. We're in a new era, in which information flows into
Arditi added, "The Tax Authority has become much stronger in recent years. For example, in all matters related to organized crime, we know how to create deterrence. A large part of organized crime now fear the Tax Authority more than they fear other law enforcement agencies.
"The Diamond Unit has become a key tool in the fight against organized crime. It and other investigative units, including the fictitious bank accounts unit, have discovered a lot of black capital. The Tax Authority discovers criminal actions totaled
Arditi said that more than 2,000 cases are opened annually against taxpayers on technical issues, such as late filing of reports and incorrect filings, and that an additional 1,000 cases are opened on tax evasion and serious crimes, amounting to several billion shekels. "I estimate that we issue 300-400 indictments a year, and many cases are closed with fines," he said.
Shapira said that general tax filing by all Israelis, including salaried employees, should be instituted, in which they list their income and expenditures each year.
(c)2014 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)
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