Public comes out in force to report tax evaders

Public comes out in force to report tax evaders

New service promises reward of 20% of amount recovered if tip leads to criminal prosecution

(illustrative tax image via Shutterstock)
(illustrative tax image via Shutterstock)

A new government campaign to locate income tax dodgers has been a great success so far, with more than 2,000 calls received at a Tax Authority hotline within a week of setting it up, Channel 10 reported on Monday.

The service allows citizens to anonymously report evaders, typically business that sometimes operate without receipts so that the income from transactions are not reported, or others who provide off-the-books services.

“Every day, public funds are stolen by the same tax evaders,” said Doron Arbely, the director of the Israeli Tax Authority. “The citizens are obligated — those who are concerned about the state — to safeguard and protect the public coffers.”

The authorities are not looking specifically for small offenders such as family businesses, private tutors or music teachers, according to the report, but are rather fishing for larger tax evaders who could owe millions of shekels.

According to the Tax Authority, if a tip on tax evasion leads to a successful criminal prosecution, some 20 percent of the amount ultimately received by the authority will be given to the whistle-blower as a reward, provided the tip-giver makes a report in person and forgoes anonymity.

Around 50 people, out of more than 2,000, have so far reported in person, the Tax Authority said.

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