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Sammy Ofer’s estate faces $247 million tax bill

The Haifa District Court is considering whether Ofer was an Israeli resident in 2006-2010.

Sammy Ofer

The Israel Tax Authority is demanding payment of about $247 million from the estate of billionaire Sammy Ofer, who passed away on June 3, 2011 at the age of 89, according to an order issued by the Tax Authority in 2013 to the estate executors. The order concerned Ofer’s income in 2006-2010. The estate executors appealed the order to the Haifa District Court.

In the dispute, the court is being asked to rule on the issue in principle of Ofer’s residence – whether he was an Israeli resident during the years in question, as asserted by the Haifa tax assessor, or a foreign resident, as claimed by the estate executors. The decision will have a major effect on the amount of tax owed to the Tax Authority. The Tax Authority demanded almost $263 million in the 2013 order, but the real amount in dispute is still unknown and greatly dependent on the court’s decision.

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