Israel

This chapter includes data on the income taxes paid by workers, their social security contributions, the family benefits they receive in the form of cash transfers as well as the social security contributions and payroll taxes paid by their employers. Results reported include the marginal and average tax burden for eight different family types.

Methodological information is available for personal income tax systems, compulsory social security contributions to schemes operated within the government sector, universal cash transfers as well as recent changes in the tax/benefit system. The methodology also includes the parameter values and tax equations underlying the data.

    
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The Israeli currency is the Israeli Shekel (ILS). In 2018, ILS 3.60 was equal to USD 1. In that year, the average worker in Israel earned ILS 153 221 (Secretariat estimate).

1. Personal income tax system

1.1. Central government income tax

1.1.1. Tax unit

In general, spouses are taxed separately on their earned income, subject to the condition that its sources are independent. The household is taxed jointly if their earned income is deemed to be interdependent. Until 2014, the conditions for interdependence involved situations where one spouse worked in a business which the other spouse either owned or had certain levels of capital or management/voting rights. Since 2014, spouses could still be taxed separately, even in cases where their earned income is deemed to be interdependent, if the labour of both spouses is needed to run the business and their income is commensurate to their effort.

1.1.2. Tax allowances and credits

1.1.2.1. Standard tax credits

The standard tax credits are given in the form of credit points subtracted from the tax liability. Each point is worth ILS 2 592 in 2018.

  • Basic credit: Every resident taxpayer is entitled to 2.25 credit points (ILS 5 832 in 2018).

  • Additional credit for women: Women are entitled to a further half credit point (ILS 1 296 in 2018).

  • Child credit: Working mothers (and fathers in one parent families) with children aged under 18 are entitled to one additional credit point per child (ILS 2 592 in 2018). In 2012 this credit was increased to 2 credit points per child aged under 5. Since 2012, married working fathers with children aged under 2 are also entitled to 2 credit points per child. In 2017, the credit for both parents was increased to 2.5 credit points per child aged under 5 (ILS 6 480 in 2018). Since, according to the Taxing Wages methodology, the children in the model are between 6 and 11 inclusive, this change was not included in the model.

  • Single parent credit: Single parents (male or female) are entitled to one additional credit point (ILS 2 592 in 2018).

1.1.2.2. Non – standard tax credits applicable to income from employment

  • Tax credits are awarded for contributions to approved pension schemes, up to a ceiling which varies according to the employee’s circumstances.

  • Employees living in certain development areas or in conflict zones receive credits as a percentage of their income up to ceiling. In 2016, a comprehensive reform was implemented, where the average credit was decreased but the number of beneficiaries more than doubled. In 2018 the credits range from 7 % in the lowest category to 20% in the highest category with ceilings of ILS 132 000 and 241 080 respectively. About 20% of the population lives in these areas.

  • New immigrants are entitled to three additional credit points in their first eighteen months in Israel, two additional credit points in the following year, and one credit point in the year after.

  • Discharged soldiers receive 2 credit points for three years after the completion of at least 23 months of service or 1 credit point for a shorter service.

  • Graduates of academic studies receive 1 credit point for three years after the completion of a B.A. degree (or after the completion of 1 700 study hours that led to a professional certificate) and 0.5 credit point for two years after the completion of a M.A. degree.

1.1.3. Tax schedule

The tax schedule for earned income in 2018 is as follows:

Taxable income (ILS per year)

Tax rate (%)

0 – 74 880

10

74 880 – 107 400

14

107 400 – 173 280

20

173 280 – 239 520

31

239 520 – 498 360

35

498 360 – 641 880

47

Above 641 880

50

1.2. Regional and local income tax

There are no regional or local income taxes.

2. Compulsory social security insurance system

Social security contributions are made up of a combination of those for National Insurance and Health Insurance. The tax rates paid by employees and employers are applied in two brackets:

  • A reduced rate for income up to a level of 60% of the average wage per employee post (ILS 5 944 per month in 2018).

  • A full rate for income exceeding 60% of the average wage per employee post and up to ILS 43 370 per month (in 2018).

2.1. Employees’ contributions

The taxable base for social security insurance contributions paid by employees is the total amount of the gross wage or salary including fringe benefits. The assessment period is the calendar month. The effective employees’ contribution rates in 2018 are as follows:

Insurance branch

Full rate contribution (%)

Reduced rate contribution (%)

Total for National Insurance branches

7.00

0.40

Health

5.00

3.10

Total contributions

12.00

3.50

2.2. Employers’ contributions

Employers on behalf of their employees also pay social security insurance contributions. These relate to National Insurance only - employers do not pay any contributions for health insurance.

The employers’ contribution rates in 2018 are as follows:

Insurance branch

Full rate contribution (%)

Reduced rate contribution (%)

Total for National Insurance branches

7.5

3.45

Health

--

--

Total contributions

7.5

3.45

3. Payroll taxes

The following payroll taxes exist in Israel but neither of them is included in the modelling as they have limited coverage:

  • Wage tax on the non-profit institutions: the VAT law imposes a 7.5 per cent on the wage-bill on the non-profit sector including Government,

  • Wage tax on the financial institutions: the VAT law also imposes a 17.00 per cent tax on the wage-bill of the financial institutions.

4. Universal cash transfers

4.1. Transfers related to marital status

None.

4.2. Transfers for dependent children

A monthly child allowance is paid to the parent (usually the mother) of unmarried children aged up to 18. The amount of the entitlement for each child depends on the date of birth of the child. Between August 2003 and June 2009, all children born after 1 June 2003 received the same benefit as the first child. But, according to the Coalition agreement signed in March 2009, the benefits for the second, third and fourth child (including those born after June 2003) were increased gradually over a period of four years (i.e. from 2009 to 2012). In August 2013 the allowance for all children born after June 2003 were decreased to ILS 140 per month per child.

In December 2015 (retroactively from May 2015) the allowance for all children were increased.

Moreover, the government deposits ILS 50 per child per month, starting with May 2015 (for the period May 2015-December 2016, the actual deposit will be only delivered, in 36 equal instalments, between January 2017-December 2019). The savings are liquid only when the child turns 18. Considering this delay of cash payments, they do not benefit the household, but rather the child and therefore are not included in the Taxing Wages modelling for 2018.

Children born before 1 June 2003

Children born on or after 1 June 2003

First child

150

150

Second child

189

189

Third child

189

189

Fourth child

336

189

Fifth child and above

354

150

In addition, a Study Grant is paid to lone parents with children aged 6 to 14. The grant is paid in one instalment, usually in September at the beginning of the school year. In 2018, the grant per child was ILS 1 006.

5. Main changes in the tax and benefit systems since 2002

  • There has been a policy of gradually reducing the level of personal income taxes since 2003. This policy was expected to continue till 2016 but came to an end in 2012 with the top tax bracket increasing from 45% to 48% although the rate of one middle income tax bracket was further decreased from 23% to 21%. The rates were further increased in 2013. In 2013 a surtax of 2% was imposed on total income above ILS 811 560, effectively increasing the top marginal rate to 50%. In 2017 the surtax was increased to 3% on total income above ILS 640 000, while the top marginal rate remained unchanged at 50%. In 2013 the value of some tax brackets weren't fully indexed to the CPI and even suffered a nominal decrease. In 2014 the value of all tax brackets and of the "credit point" weren't indexed to the CPI. In 2017 some tax rates and the width of some tax brackets were changed, effectively decreasing the tax burden for low and mid income while increasing the burden for higher incomes.

  • The full contribution rate for employee social security contributions was increased gradually from 9.7% in 2002 to 12% in 2006. The reduced contribution rate was lowered from 5.76% in 2002 to 3.5% in 2006. The upper threshold for contributions was removed in July 2002 but re-instated one year later. In August 2009, as a temporary measure until December 2011, it was increased to 10 times the average wage per employee post until December 2010 and to 9 times the average wage per employed post until December 2011.

  • Prior to July 2005, there was only one contribution rate for employer social security contributions and this was set at 5.93% between July 2002 and June 2005. The upper threshold for contributions was removed in July 2002 but was re-instated one year later. The current system of two tax brackets was introduced in July 2005 with a reduced contribution rate of 5.33% and a full rate of 5.68%. There has been a lowering of rates in each year between 2006 and 2009. In August 2009, as a temporary measure until March 2011, the reduced rate was increased from 3.45% to 3.85%. In April 2011 the regular rate was increased to 5.9%. It was increased again to 6.5% in January 2013, 6.75% in January 2014, 7.25% in January 2015 and 7.5% in January 2016.

  • The Employers tax on wage bill of the non-profit sector excluding Government was abolished in 2008.

  • In the period between August 2003 and June 2009, all children that were born on or after 1 June 2003 received the same level of benefit payment as the first child. The 2009 Coalition agreement introduced a gradual increase in the benefit payments for the second, third and fourth children in all families (including those where children were born after June 2003) over a period of four years from July 2009 to Apr 2012. In August 2013 the allowance for all children born after June 2003 was decreased to ILS 140 per month per child. In December 2015 (retroactively from May 2015) the allowance for all children were increased.

  • In 2017, the tax credit for both parents was increased to 2.5 credit points per child aged under 5.

6. Memorandum items

6.1. Average gross annual wage earnings calculation

The average wage figures represent the amount earned for a full time post by employees working 35 hours per week or more. Until 2011 the AW data came from a combination of 2 sources - the income and expenditure survey and the labour force survey. Since 2012 the data come exclusively from the income and expenditure survey as the labour force survey has no more data on income. The Central Bureau of Statistics has now computed a new AW series based exclusively on the income and expenditure survey back from 2000.

As to the economic classification, until 2012, Israel used a modified version of ISIC 3 where the B-I industries (see Table below) are a very close equivalent of C-K industries in ISIC 3.1. Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics adopted ISIC 4 in 2012 and since 2013 the Average Wage used in the modelling is based on ISIC 4.

A

Agriculture.

B

Manufacturing.

C

Electricity and water supply.

D

Construction (building and civil engineering projects).

E

Wholesale and retail trade and repairs.

F

Accommodation services and restaurants

G

Transport, storage and communication.

H

Banking, insurance and other financial institutions.

I

Business activities.

J

Public administration.

K

Education.

L

Health, welfare and social work services.

M

Community, social, personal and other services.

6.2. Employer contributions to private pension

Until 2007, employers were not legally obliged to pay into a pension plan for their employees. Pension rights were guaranteed in collective agreements that covered less than half of the labour force. About one million employees in Israel had no pension arrangement (mainly those earning a relatively low wage, temporary workers and those working for subcontractors).

In 2008, a compulsory employment pension was introduced for employees with a period of employment of at least 6 months. The minimum rate of contributions in January 2018 was 18.5 per cent of the employee’s salary (up to the level of the average wage of ILS 9 906 per month), about one third to be paid by the employee and two thirds by the employer.

6.3. Earned income tax credit

A non-wastable earned income tax credit was implemented in 2008 in selected geographical areas of Israel covering 15 % of the population. Entitlement to this credit is established based on earnings in the previous year. The tax credit was extended to all areas of Israel in 2012 (based on the earnings in 2011 and therefore we already included it in the 2011 version of the model). For mothers of children up to the age of 2 and for single parents the full coverage started in 2011 (based on earnings in 2010).

Under the law, workers aged 23 or more who are parents of one or two children aged less than 18 (or workers aged 55 or more even without children), and earn at least ILS 2 100 per month (about 39 per cent of the minimum wage) but not more than ILS 6 320 per month are eligible for a monthly increment of up to ILS 330. The corresponding figure for a family with 3 or more children is ILS 490.

Since 2016, single parents are eligible for the EITC for a wider income range – from ILS 1 290 per month to ILS  9 570 per month (for a single parents of 1-2 children) or ILS  11 690 per month (for a single parents of 3 or more children).

Since 2013 (based on earnings in 2012), these sums were increased by 50% for working mothers (and fathers in one-parent family).

A temporary measure (for earnings in 2018 only), expanded the 50% bonus to all working fathers and furthermore added a bonus of 30% for families where both parents work. This was included in the Taxing Wages modelling for 2018

Families in which both parents work, and their joint income does not exceed ILS 12 380, are entitled to these benefits for each wage-earner. The grant is paid four times a year directly into the account of the eligible persons.

2018 Parameter values

Average earnings/yr

Ave_earn

153 221

Secretariat esimate

Income tax

Tax_sch

0.10

74 880

0.14

107 400

0.20

173 280

0.31

239 520

0.35

498 360

0.47

641 880

0.50

Employees SSC

SSC_sch

0.035

71 328

0.12

520 440

0

Employers SSC

SSC_rate2

0.0345

71 328

0.0750

520 440

0.0000

Child benefit

CB_firstchild

1 800

CB_secondchild

2 268

Studygrant_rate

1 006

Wastable tax credits

Basic element

WTC_Basic

5 832

Lone parent

WTC_lone

2 592

Parents/per child

WTC_Child

2 592

Women

WTC_woman

1 296

Negative Income tax

Married with 1 or

NIT_sch1

0

25200

2 children

0.161

43088

0

43800

0

60000

-0.230

75840

Married with 3 or

NIT_sch2

0

25200

more children

0.235

43788

5.985

43800

0

60000

-0.235

83160

Single with 1 or

NIT_sch3

0

15480

2 children

0.108

42147

0

43800

0

82200

-0.116

114840

Single with 3 or

NIT_sch4

0

15480

0.155

43788

4.355

43800

0

91800

-0.116

140280

NIT_basic1

1080

NIT_basic2

1440

NIT_min

240

NIT_MinIncome1

25200

NIT_MinIncome2

15480

Nit_AddIncome1

17520

Nit_AddIncome2

58320

Nit_MaxIncome

148560

NIT_Bonus1

1.5

NIT_Bonus2

1.3

NIT_PartnerIncome

43800

Days in tax year

numdays

366

2018 Tax equations

Line in country table and intermediate steps

Variable name

Range

Equation

1.

Earnings

 

2.

Allowances:

Tax_al

B

0

3.

Credits in taxable income

taxbl_cr

B

0

4.

CG taxable income

tax_inc

B

Earn

5.

CG tax before credits

CG_tax_excl

B

Tax(tax_inc, tax_sch)

6.

Tax credits (nonwastable):

Principal

tax_cr_princ

B

(earn>0)*(wtc_basic+(IF(married=0)*(children>0),wtc_woman+wtc_lone+(wtc_child*children))

Spouse

tax_cr_spouse

B

(earn>0)*(wtc_basic+wtc_woman+(wtc_child*children))

Tax credits (nonwastable)

NIT_princ

B

NIT=MAX(0,IF(Children=0,0,IF(Married=1,IF(Children<='2,NIT_basic1*(Princ_earnings>NIT_MinIncome1)+Tax(Princ_earnings,NIT_sch1),NIT_basic2*(' Princ_earnings>NIT_MinIncome1)+Tax(Princ_earnings,NIT_sch2)),(IF(Children<='2,NIT_basic1*(' Princ_earnings >NIT_MinIncome2)+Tax(Princ_earnings,NIT_sch3),NIT_basic2*( Princ_earnings >NIT_MinIncome2)+Tax(Princ_earnings,NIT_sch4))))))

NIT=+MAX(0,NIT+IF(Children=0,0,IF(Children<=2,-0.23,-0.235))

*MAX(0,+( Princ_earnings +Spouse_earnings)-NIT_MaxIncome-MIN(MAX(0, Princ_earnings -NIT_Addincome2),NIT_AddIncome1)-MIN(MAX(0,Spouse_earnings-NIT_Addincome2),NIT_AddIncome1)))

NIT=IF(NIT<NIT_min,0,NIT)*NIT_Bonus1*IF(Spouse_earnings>NIT_PartnerIncome,NIT_Bonus2,1)

NIT_spouse

B

NIT=MAX(0,IF(Children=0,0,IF(Married=1,IF(Children<=2,NIT_basic1*(Spouse_earnings>NIT_MinIncome1)+Tax(Spouse_earnings,NIT_sch1),NIT_basic2*(Spouse_earnings>NIT_MinIncome1)+Tax(Spouse_earnings,NIT_sch2)),(IF(Children<=2,NIT_basic1*(Spouse_earnings>NIT_MinIncome2)+Tax(Spouse_earnings,NIT_sch3),NIT_basic2*(Spouse_earnings>NIT_MinIncome2)+Tax(Spouse_earnings,NIT_sch4))))))

NIT=+MAX(0,NIT+IF(Children=0,0,IF(Children<='2,-0.23,-0.235))' *MAX(0,+( Princ_earnings +Spouse_earnings)-NIT_MaxIncome-MIN(MAX(0, Princ_earnings -NIT_Addincome2),NIT_AddIncome1)-MIN(MAX(0,Spouse_earnings-NIT_Addincome2),NIT_AddIncome1)))

NIT=IF(NIT<NIT_min,0,NIT)*NIT_Bonus1*IF(Princ_earnings>NIT_PartnerIncome,NIT_Bonus2,1)

7.

CG tax

CG_tax

B

Positive(CG_tax_excl-tax_cr)-NIT

8.

State and local taxes

local_tax

B

0

9.

Employees' soc security

SSC

B

Tax(earn, SSC_sch)

11.

Cash transfers

cash_trans

J

IF(children=1,CB_firstchild,IF(Children=2,CB_firstchild+CB_secondchild)+(IF(married=0)*(children>0),Studygrant_rate*children)

13.

Employer's soc security

SSC_empr

B

Tax(earn, SSC_rate2)

Key to range of equation B calculated separately for both principal earner and spouse P calculated for principal only (value taken as 0 for spouse calculation) J calculated once only on a joint basis

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