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Explosive report claims France sets up secret department targeting Jews for tax evasion

France: “In the framework of the campaign against tax evasion, the authorities conduct investigations concerning individual cases, in accordance with the international agreements.

France has set up a secret department to target French Jews believed to be avoiding tax, according to Globes.
The report, cites multiple unnamed sources, insiders, and experts, alleges that authorities at France’s Ministry of Finance, established a specialist, Hebrew-speaking “secret department” on the 13th floor at Bercy Street to check tax evasion through real estate deals in Israel.

The paper also claims that department is due to hiring an additional five members of staff to help tackle the alleged rampant tax evasion.

The finance ministry said in a statement:

“The building has only nine floors and therefore cannot contain the alleged specialist department on the 13th floor.” 

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The source for deals in an examination, according to Globes, is the Land Registry in cities such Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Herzliya, and Ra’anana. The alleged department, the report claim, is looking for anomalies that correlate with foreign passport information. Also, the team of Israeli tax law veterans also reportedly targets French Jews who are in the process of emigrating to Israel.

An Israeli law from 2008 does offer immigrants a 10-year exemption from taxes and reporting on income generated abroad. A 1,211 new immigrants (Olim) arrived in Israel from France in the first half of 2017, according to figures from the Israel Ministry of Immigration and Absorption. The benefit for the Israeli economy from the absorption of Jews from France would reach $65 billion, Bar-Ilan University research showed. The study assumes that 100,000 immigrants will arrive from France by 2026.

“It is very, very irregular to hire 20 Hebrew-speaking employees, or any other language, in a foreign tax authority. Most tax authorities have one or two Hebrew-speakers,” a lawyer specializing in taxation who is familiar with this  department” told Globes.

“Every tax authority has employees that speak a foreign language, but hiring 20 or more Hebrew-speaking investigators is very irregular.”

The French embassy in Israel said in response:

“In the framework of the campaign against tax evasion, the authorities in France conduct investigations concerning individual cases, in accordance with the international agreements. The authorities in France deny the existence of a special department. It is extremely important to state that the things that were written are false.”

 “Taxes in France are calculated according to risk considerations. There is, therefore, no connection whatsoever to the national affiliation or ethnic origin of taxpayers. Next year, automatic exchanges of information are scheduled between OECD member countries.”




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