Update from Stark & Stark, Israel

Iris Stark was appointed as the representative on the Tax Committee of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants and amongst many matters, also presents tax issues to Israeli parliament members.

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The whole Stark and Stark firm, with their families, recently enjoyed a fun day to Mount Herman in the Golan Heights. They spent the day playing in the snow and enjoying gourmet meals during the day (picture below).

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As the Director of women's basketball league, Iris Stark, filed a petition in the Supreme Court with reference to discrimination in the division of allocation of funds in women’s sport against the Ministry of Sport. The petition asks the principal to compare the budgetary support to women to those of men. At present women’s sport gets 0.5 % of the budget and men’s sport gets 99.5%. During the press conference, Iris said that ”Israeli society must eradicate all discrimination based on gender in all areas, including sports. I am fighting every day to get a basic budget that will enable talented player in the women’s Premier League to be able to play professionally. What is so clear for sportsmen, for women it is a challenge".

Iris with Adv’s Ori Kidar and Ori Kahane

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An article written by Iris Stark and titled “Making the 3rd Sector More Transparent” was published in the Esra magazine whose target audience is wholly English speaking. ESRA is an independent non-profit organization run by volunteers and the magazine in English acts as an informative and entertaining companion and guide to life in Israel. See the article here: http://www.esra-magazine.com/blog/post/npo.

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On 30 November 2015, new legislation on tax benefits and tax advice for 2015 was approved by the Israeli Parliament. The legislation includes the introduction of the reporting obligation upon receipt of any tax advice legal opinion issued in writing, whether directly or indirectly.

Tax advice services falling under the scope of the above legislations are those:

  • Designed to allow the recipient access to tax advantages
  • Meeting at least one of the following conditions:
    • The fees paid for the tax advice exceed NIS100,000
    • The tax advice is not tailor-made

The obligation to report will become an integral part of the annual reporting obligations of the taxpayer for tax opinions issued as of 1 January 2016, and is subject to all sanctions and requirements of tax law, including potential criminal charges in the case of non-reporting.

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Iris is a regular guest commentator on the economic talk shows on the leading Israeli Television channels. Recently she spoke about tax evasion in leading Israeli companies including celebrities like top model Bar Rafaeli who is suspected of misleading the Tax Authority by saying that she lived overseas for years, while actually living in Tel Aviv. It is suspected that her family signed the leases for these apartments in order to conceal the fact that she was living in Israel for years, thereby evading tax liability on income amounting to tens of millions of shekels.