2017 Activities

CSTPBT Calls on Government to Establish A National Technical Team to Prevent Tax Evasion in Palestine

CSTPBT Calls on Government to Establish A National Technical Team to Prevent Tax Evasion in Palestine

The Civil Society Team for Public Budget Transparency held a working day over tax evasion, to
shed the light over the legal challenges and difficulties faced, in order to conclude a number of
recommendations to help solve the problem of tax evasion.
The CSTPBT calls for an integrated plan of action by the government to address the
phenomenon of tax evasion from legislative and institutional aspects, through forming a
technical team responsible for monitoring the implementation of the plan, taking into
consideration the amendment of tax laws and all related laws, increasing the number of
employees in the tax services, such as the Customs Police, in addition to providing necessary
logistical and technical support, by providing an accurate data base, which includes all
taxpayers, and linking relevant institutions and ministries to follow up tax evasion, as well as
enhancing the transparency of information over public budget to help raise the citizen’s
confidence in the government, in addition to coordination between different tax departments(
income, value added, property)
The recommendations were outlined by Ms.Hameh Zeidan, coordinator of CSTPBT of the AMAN
coalition by a working day sessions.

The Growing Phenomenon of Tax Evasion

The first session of the working day faced the challenges and legal difficulties in tax evasion. Mr.
Mouayad Afaneh, Director of the session and a member of the CSTPBT reviewed many
questions to be answered during this session, such as, the rates of tax evasion in Palestine, the
prevailing culture of taxpayers, the challenges and difficulties faced by income tax and added
value and the rates of public money waste as a result of tax evasion?
Mr. Msaif Msaif, Economic Researcher at Economic Policy Research Institute –MAS reviewed
the Palestinian tax system, and the culture of tax evasion, in relation to foreign trade and
sources of tax revenues. Mr. Msaif reviewed the sources of tax revenues estimated about
10685 million NIS, 22.2% of which are domestic and 77.7% for Israel.
Mr. Msaif has emphasized the growing phenomenon of tax evasion, setting some
recommendations to overcome this phenomenon, most important of which is establishing a tx
reform program, developing economical policies coherent with the level of income, in addition
to awareness programs over customs evasion in private sectors.
Ms. Samar Al-Dahleh, from the General Administration of income tax in the MOF, presented the
institutional difficulties and reasons for tax evasion, pointing out that the taxes in Palestine is a
major source of financing the state’s revenues, and that there is no specific and real percentage
of tax evasion due to the political conditions of the Israeli occupation, referring to the forms of
tax evasion represented by the non-registration of taxpayers in the tax department, their
disconnection in the tax departments, and their secrecy over their incomes. At the end of her
speech, Ms.Dahla recommended the need to increase the number of employees in tax
departments and to rehabilitate the employees, in addition to reviewing the tax laws and to
take necessary amendments.

Weak monitoring enhances tax evasion

Mr.Ibrahim Assaf and Walji Shoman, representatives of the State Audit and Administrative
Control Bureau (SAACB) explained the responsibility of the SAACB in auditing taxes, fees, and
revenues, to verify that their assessment has been according to the laws and regulations,
Moreover they have emphasized that they the audit faces many difficulties due to the lack of
employees in the SAACB to carry out the audit of revenues and taxes, the lack of cases against
evades, and the failure of the Ministry of Finance and Planning to carry out the
recommendations of the SAACB in their reports. They have recommended coordinating
between different taxes departments, such as the Bar Association, and the Supreme Judicial
Court, the need to activate the role of customs police to follow-up customs data, lastly, the
need to develop a law on added value tax in line with the nature of the economic phase.
The lack of tax evasion cases despite the actual increase
Dr. Azmi Al-Shuaibi, Consultant to the Board of Directors of AMAN, the last session moderator
on problems and challenges in the field of law enforcement, reviewed the causes of tax
evasion, emphasizing the need to hold revelant parties accountable for what has been done
since 1998 to prevent the risk of tax evasion, whether at the level of legislative or institutional
amendment, wondering about the plan of the Ministry of Finance and Planning to overcome
the obstacles related to tax evasion and income after the Twenty years? What did the Anti
Economic Crimes Directorate do to overcome the gaps and obstacles to deal with tax evasion?
Ms. Najat Breki, Vice president of the Anti Economic Crimes Directorate, stated that the tax
evasion phenomenon is a dangerous issue which may affect the public treasury and the rule of
law. She also reviewed the issues of economic crimes, especially tax and customs evasion
during the year 2016, reaching only 17 cases, of which about 12 million shekels, noting that all
cases of economic crimes interfere with tax evasion, surprising the fact that the number of
cases of tax evasion cases is limited due to the large amounts of money stolen from the public
The most important problems and challenges hindering the follow-up of the issues of tax
evasion, lack of control over the crossings and areas classified (c), which weakens the possibility
of inspection and implementation of the law, weak Palestinian control over the Israeli identity
campaigners who open commercial or industrial facilities within the Israeli and Palestinian
areas, The lack of a comprehensive information bank that includes a database of taxpayers for
the purpose of increasing penalties for violators, weak coordination between the security
services and tax control bodies, which leads to duplication of work and duplication of
assignment in some cases.
Dr. Azmi Al-Shuaibi concluded the session stressing the recommendation of Ms. Najat Al-Breiki,
the need to form a technical team to follow the phenomenon of tax evasion and develop an
implementation plan to address the issue, reflecting the serious will of the government to
achieve the supreme national interest of the Palestinian people and the optimal use of our
financial resources.

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