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      Israel Fights Black Market with ‘Justice Hotline’

      The Tax Authority’s ‘Justice hotline’ proves a success with 3,000 tips in one week. The goal: to put an end to the black market.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 2/13/2013, 12:15 AM

      Tax Authority office
      Tax Authority office
      Flash90

      Tax Authority head Doron Arbely was pleased Tuesday as he summed up the first week of the authority’s new program to crack down on Israel’s black market. According to Arbely, the Tax Authority’s new hotline, “The Justice hotline,” has received 3,000 calls in the past seven days.

      The line, which is also known as “the informant hotline,” gathers reports of tax evasion.

      The Tax Authority has promised a financial reward for callers who are willing to identify themselves who give tips leading to convictions for tax evasion. However, 80% of callers prefer to remain anonymous despite the offer of a prize.

      Workers have arranged 100 meetings with callers who have additional information to present, Arbely said.

      Arbely told journalist Roi Katz that the Tax Authority is currently recruiting hundreds of new workers. An internal study found that workers bring in 10,000-12,000 shekels per hour in taxes, he said, while they cost the state 200-250 thousand shekels per year.

      “It’s worth it for us to invest in manpower,” he said.

      Arbely argued that the black market in Israel is larger than in other OECD nations. He noted that some Israelis are involved in property deals overseas, and said the Tax Authority is in touch with officials abroad, particularly in the United States, to be sure that such overseas investments are not used to circumvent tax laws.