Court rules Bar Refaeli must pay millions in back taxes

Bar Refaeli Photo: Shlomi Yosef

The Lod District Court has ruled that the international model was resident in Israel in 2009 and 2010. She also faces criminal charges on the matter.

The Lod District Court has ruled that Israeli and internationally famous supermodel Bar Refaeli must pay back taxes on tens of millions of shekels that she earned in 2009 and 2010. The court rejected an appeal by Refaeli against the Israel Tax Authority for its assessment of the taxes she owes for those years.

Refaeli plans appealing against the ruling and has hired the services of leading Israeli tax expert Adv. Pinhas Rubin, chairman of Gornitzky & Co law firm.

In relation to the current court ruling, the District Attorney for Tax and Economic Matters had previously that Refaeli and her parents Tsipi and Rafi, should stand trial for criminal tax evasion offenses, subject to a hearing, related to the model's 2009 and 2010 income and other tax offense between 2009 and 2012.

The crux of the matter relates to Refaeli's country of residence during this period. She claims that she moved to the US in 2007 when she was in a relationship with Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio and that she did not return to live in Israel until 2013. However, the Tax Authority argues that she was resident in Israel from 2009 onwards.

Refaeli's legal representatives Adv. Moshe Mizrachi, Adv. Udi Barzilai said in response, "The main issue that was discussed in the ruling was the question of whether Bar Refaeli was resident (in Israel) in 2009 and 2010 - a period when she was in a relationship abroad and promoting her international career as a model."

"At the end of 2009 the Tax Authority reached an assessment settlement that from 2007, Refaeli would be considered as an overseas resident. In accordance with the agreement, she reported to the tax authorities that she was also an overseas resident in 2009 and 2010."

"We think that the ruling is wrong, ignores the main facts and is not in line with previous rulings by the Supreme Court on the subject. For this and other reasons, we believe that the verdict will be overturned in an appeals court."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 22, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Bar Refaeli Photo: Shlomi Yosef
Bar Refaeli Photo: Shlomi Yosef
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