A new law prohibiting payments to businesses in cash and bank checks for deals of NIS 6,000 ($1700) and over went into effect on Monday, August 1, Israel’s Tax Authority stated.
According to the Tax Authority, the law is intended to thwart money laundering, organized crime and tax non-compliance.
Any payment to a business above NIS 6,000 must now be made using a credit card or digital transfer. However, private citizens who are not listed as business owners are allowed to make payments of up to 15,000 NIS ($4,360) in cash.
“We want the public to reduce the use of cash,” said Adv. Tamar Bracha, who has been tasked with implementing the law on behalf of Israel’s Tax Authority. “The goal is to reduce cash in the market, mainly because crime organizations tend to rely on cash. Limiting its use makes criminal activity much more difficult to carry out.”
Attorney Uri Goldman, an expert in tax law, represented clients in an appeal against the first cash law in 2018, which imposed a limit on cash payments of NIS 11,000 ($3,197) and over.
The Media Line quoted Goldman as saying that the laws imposing limits on cash transactions are simply inefficient.
“We were in the discussions about the bill. The data we brought showed that since the first phase of the law was in effect, the amount of cash on the market only increased. So clearly, something’s not working.”
Goldman also mentioned the negative repercussions of the law. “When the bill passed there were over a million citizens without bank accounts in Israel. The law would prevent them from conducting any business and would, practically, turn 10% of the population into criminals.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)