Tax Authority Goes After Private Surgery

YERUSHALAYIM -

An indictment on charges of tax evasion filed last week against a firm matching people for kidney transplants was the first volley in an Israel Tax Authority campaign on tax evasion in the field of private surgery, Globes reports.

The Tax Authority is looking into reports on income from private surgery carried out at hospitals in Israel and overseas, in particular transplants and plastic surgery.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” a top Tax Authority source said of the NIS-118-million case against Yaakov Dayan, the manager of Ad-Al Holdings, which mediated between people need kidney transplants and people interested in selling a kidney, on charges of tax evasion from 1997-2007.

The source added, “As part of the Tax Authority’s routine activity, we are looking at all kinds of business activities carried out in Israel, but which people try to camouflage to make out that they were carried out by foreign companies. For months, we have been constantly gathering information from private hospitals to uncover the cases in which those engaged in private surgery — and we’re talking about anyone along the chain — do not report their real income.”

The term “those along the chain” includes doctors, anesthesiologists, technicians, and nurses. The Tax Authority wants surgeons in private practice to feel that TA is “also present in the operating room.”

The high-level TA source said that millions of shekels “change hands” at hospitals. “Private surgery, whether cosmetic surgery or life-saving surgery, such as organ transplants, is a niche with a lot of money in it.”