January 1, 2017 will bring about a number of new laws and regulatory changes. Here’s what you absolutely have to know.
1. Starting January 1, supermarkets will now charge 10 agorot for plastic bags that were until now given out free at cash registers. The Environmental Protection Ministry hopes that this will reduce the amount of pollution from plastic bags. The charge will not apply at small stores or outdoor markets.
2. A new project by Bituach Leumi will set aside NIS 50 per month for children under 18, so that when they reach adulthood, they’ll have nest egg that they can use toward education, marriage, travel, or whatever they want. Its important to know the details of the plan and how to sign up for it. Read more here
3. A 10-year tax exemption for new immigrants and returning citizens from reporting and paying taxes on income from abroad expires. It is not clear what that will mean for immigrants making aliya before or after 2007. More details here
4. A tax amnesty program giving Israelis the option to disclose previously unreported overseas earnings or bank accounts without incurring criminal penalty expires Dec 31. After that, you may be subject to penalty
5. A government plan to make six sundays a year vacation days will not happen, at least not yet. The plan is being reconsidered, and may be launched at a later date.
6. Self-employed people are now required by law to have a pension. Currently, 40% of self-employed people in Israel do not have a savings plan. Please contact your accountant or financial advisor ASAP to set one up.
7. Electricity prices will rise 3.7% starting January 1.
8. Minimum wage goes up to NIS 5000 per month, from NIS 4200.
9. Changes to income tax rates. Employees earning up to NIS 20,000 gross monthly will pay less taxes, and people earning NIS 60,000 or more monthly will pay higher taxes.
10. Employees working at a company for 4 or more years will now be entitled to 2 more vacation days per year than they had received in the past, if they are currently receiving the minimum amount.
11. Jerusalem Light Rail passengers will now be allowed to continue rides started on a bus without an additional charge. (source)