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Israeli Tax Agency Targets Crypto Tax Dodgers

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The Israeli Tax Authority (ITA) is cracking down on cryptocurrency tax evaders, and has reportedly issued warnings to “hundreds” of Israeli crypto enthusiasts.

Source: iStock/mangpor_2004

Per Israeli news outlet Calcalist, the ITA has “unilaterally opened tax accounts for hundreds of Israelis identified as having cryptocurrency-related revenues.”

The report says that it has identified individuals it suspects of failing to report their earnings, and quotes an unnamed official “familiar with the matter” as stating that citizens “who travel abroad frequently without having the requisite funds on paper, or those who own over three apartments” have been sent warning letters.

As previously reported, Israeli law defines digital tokens as “financial assets,” and taxes earnings at a rate of up to 30% – although the government recently announced that it will allow investors flexibility when choosing how they declare.

The ITA has this year been attempting to convince crypto exchanges based in the country to inform the agency when companies or individuals make unusually large deposits.

Elsewhere in the country, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak has been criticizing cryptocurrencies, terming “Bitcoin and other coins” as “Ponzi schemes” – yet making a point of praising the virtues of blockchain technology.

And last month, the Bank of Israel published a summary of a report from an interdepartmental team established in November 2017, tasked with investigating the possible benefits of issuing a digital version of the national currency, the shekel. The team concluded that there was no call for creating a digital shekel “in the near future,” but stated that there was “a need to continue examining the issue and monitoring developments.”
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