Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Jewish Business News


Israel’s black economy totals 19% of activity

Visa Europe: Israel’s parallel economy totals NIS 185 billion annually – a similar level to other Mediterranean countries.

Activists Protest Black Tie And Boots Inaugural Ball

Please help us out :
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at
Thank you.

/ Ela Levy-Weinrib /

“Israel’s black economy totals an estimated NIS 185 billion in 2013, 18.9% of the country’s economic activity, ” states Visa Europe in a new study. The black economy’s proportion of the total economy in Israel is similar to other Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Turkey), but higher than in Western Europe, North America, and developed Asian countries.
According to Visa Europe, the main reasons encouraging Israelis to work in, and expand, the parallel economy are high tax rates, an unbalanced tax burden, administrative foot-dragging compared with other OECD countries, and insufficient financial inclusion of communities, such as Arabs and haredim (ultra-orthodox).
Israel’s economic crisis, the budget deficit, austerity measures, and the erosion of the middle class may greatly reduce the government’s efforts to contain the parallel economy. The Ministry of Finance and Israel Tax Authority are trying to get legislation passed, as part of the 2013 Economic Arrangements bill, which will reduce tax evasion and fight black capital in the markets. However, Visa Europe says that most resources should be used to reduce the use of cash.
Breaking the vicious circle of a cash economy requires cooperation by the government, banks, retailers, and payment systems. Priority should be given to measures and initiatives to reduce cash transactions and increase financial turnover.
Visa Europe Israel country manager Oded Salomy, “When using cash, it’s easier to conceal income, but when using other means of payments, especially Visa credit cards, the chances of concealing income are greatly reduced. To reduce the black economy in Israel and increase the government tax receipts, we suggest taking measures which will increase the use of credit cards.”
There were 134 electronic transactions per capita in Israel in 2011, of which 95 were credit card transactions. With an average of 0.77 credit cards per capita and 14 terminals per 1, 000 people, instilling the use of electronic transactions is not a problem. Although Israel has a solid infrastructure, customers’ use of electronic payments and installing them among merchants needs improvement, especially in rural areas.
According to Visa Europe, if electronic transactions increase by 10% per annum over the next two years, they can help to reduce the parallel economy to 17% of GDP in 2015, assuming that there are no major external shocks to the Israeli economy. It adds that the growth to date in credit card use has helped reduce the size of the parallel economy by NIS 16 billion since 2010.
Visa Europe estimates that at least 7% of the parallel economy can be eliminated by the use of electronic payments, with priority given to problem industries, such as diamonds, construction, and domestic help.
Published by 

Photo: Getty



You May Also Like

World News

In the 15th Nov 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:   ·         A new Israeli treatment brings hope to relapsed leukemia...


The Movie The Professional is what made Natalie Portman a Lolita.


After two decades without a rating system in Israel, at the end of 2012 an international tender for hotel rating was published.  Invited to place bids...

VC, Investments

You may not become a millionaire, but there is a lot to learn from George Soros.

Copyright © 2021 Jewish Business News