Last May, the annual conference of the Israeli Bar Association took place in Eilat. It’s one of the main events of the year where lawyers who practice in different fields get together for a few days of networking, panels, and professionals lectures.
Adv. Yossi Elisha had an important role in leading the professional content relating to taxation at the conference. This was in addition to his role of leading the panel on changes and innovation in the taxation world.
Prior to the panel Adv. Yossi Elisha pre-interviewed Mr. Eran Yakove, Director General of the Israel Tax Authority, where he presented his goals of improving public service and increasing public trust in the Tax Authority. He also wants the Tax Authority to embrace technology and become more digital, as well as invest in effective enforcement measures.
The main issue during the panel was the draft circular that the Tax Authority recently published, regarding the taxation of private residences as businesses. Publication of the circular is based on the Supreme Court ruling in January involving Advocate Shraga Biran. The court ruled that Biran, one of Israel’s wealthiest lawyers, must pay the tax applying to a business on his income from leasing 24 housing units that he owns in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Rehovot, instead of a reduced tax rate applying to private leasing of housing units.
Adv. Elisha believes the Tax Authority’s interpretation of the ruling in Biran’s case that applied to 20 housing units as opposed to 10 was too broad. Mr. Yakove on the other hand thinks that it is crucial that information regarding taxation law is clear and accessible to all, especially for the relevant business stakeholders.