Izzy Leizerowitz

22 February, 2024

Utilizing Tax Benefits On Your Israel Investment Property

Taking advantage of tax benefits starts with understanding the nuances of the tax code in Israel. But we're not all tax specialists, so here is a cheat sheet to benefit from your tax benefits in Israel's real estate market 2024: Utilize Tax Benefits Timely.
  • Utilize tax breaks and exemptions promptly.
  • Leave the headache to a property manager.

Timing is everything!
When you purchase or sell a property will determine how much ROI (Return on Investment) you will enjoy. But then you have still this big question: when is the right time to buy or sell to pay less tax?

Based on Tax Breaks and exemptions:
Sell after you meet your exemption conditions if you are selling a single qualifying residential apartment. A qualifying residential apartment is one that:
  • Is primarily used for residential purposes.
  • Has been a residential apartment for four-fifths of the period on which the capital gain is calculated.
  • Has been the only apartment you or your family owns within the last four years.
  • You have used it for at least 18 months as a residential apartment before the sale and have not sold any other apartment within this time.

The sooner you can sell your property, the less appreciation tax you will be charged. That is, if you have more than one property, the tax collected is at a 25% rate only from 2014, and you pay no tax for appreciation gained before 2014.

For instance, suppose a property bought in 2004 has potentially gained 3 million NIS by 2024. In that case, instead of paying appreciation tax on capital gained for the last 20 years, the owner will pay tax for the 10 years after 2014 only – which can be 25% of NIS 1.5 million instead of NIS 3 million.

Suppose another apartment was purchased in 2014 and appreciated at the same rate. Then, the tax amount collected here will be 25% of NIS 3 million. If two apartments bought in 2004 are sold at different times, one in 2024 and another in 2028, the one sold in 2028 will incur a bigger appreciation amount because it will have a bigger appreciation amount (assuming the tax rate and appreciation value remain constant).

But if you are buying a property, you will pay less purchasing tax if you buy now because the inflation index has increased the taxation brackets which have, in turn, reduced the amount collected. Find the actual tax chart for your review here.

If you are on the verge of taking advantage of the new government plan to improve Aliyah & integration, time your property purchase to coincide with your status as a new immigrant or within the beneficial period after your return to Israel.

The beneficial period starts before the year you immigrate to Israel and ends seven years after the immigration. The tax exemption, in this case, applies if you buy a residential apartment or land or property used for business.

What Tax Benefits Should You Expect?
For sellers:
  • The tax exemption ceiling limit for a single-qualifying residential apartment is NIS 5,008,000, meaning you pay no tax if you sell a property at an amount lower than NIS 5,008,000.
  • Capital gains for a property calculated from January 1, 2014, are taxed at 25%. Capital gained before 2014 is not taxed.

For Buyers:
  • Residents enjoy reduced tax rates for single-qualifying apartments and tax exemptions for a tax exemption ceiling limit of NIS 1,978,745.
  • Returning residents in Aliyah enjoy reduced tax rates for single-qualifying apartments with a 0.5% tax on a ceiling limit of NIS 1,988,090 and 5% above this limit.

Why Being Timely Is Crucial
Tax laws are always subject to change and updates, and recently, the Ministry of Finance has announced a preliminary legislative initiative to significantly increase real estate tax in Israel for foreign buyers and investors and capital gains tax with the cancelation of a benefit.

  • For Investors and Foreign Buyers:
The current 8% purchase tax rate is expected to become a permanent tax. This will contrast the previous intention to return this tax rate to its previous value of 5% at the end of 2024.

  • For the Capital 2014 Benefits
The Ministry of Finance is planning to end it over 5 years starting in 2025 so that property owners with two or more apartments will be required to pay the full capital gains tax whether they bought the apartment in 2004 or 2014. This means property owners with properties bought before 2014 should start considering selling before 2016.

And buying or selling in a timely manner ensures you make the most of your investment.

Leaving The Headache to A Property Manager
Property managers deal with real estate tax requirements with every purchase and sale, so they know how to take advantage of tax benefits based on recent updates and expected projections. They can help you optimize tax benefits because they have a deep understanding of Israeli tax laws and have expertise in using a strategic approach to timing your transactions. This is where the expertise and guidance of Keter Advisors become invaluable.

As a distinguished member of Israel's Association of National Real Estate Brokers and a fully certified agency, Keter Advisors is dedicated to expertly navigating the tax implications for both buyers and sellers, ensuring you're positioned to take full advantage of tax breaks and exemptions. Keter Advisors utilizes its market insight to advise on the best times to act, taking into consideration current and upcoming tax laws. This strategic timing is crucial for capitalizing on periods of tax relief and avoiding potential tax increases. For new immigrants and returning residents, Keter Advisors provides specialized advice to make the most of the government's tax incentives to facilitate Aliyah and integration. Leave the complexities of tax optimization, transaction timing, and regulatory compliance to Keter Advisors. Contact us today to transform your real estate goals into successful ventures, all while leaving the tax-related headaches to the professionals.

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