It’s not often that the state has a “sale” on fines and penalties for monies owed to it – but beginning Tuesday, such a sale was now in effect. Israelis who owe the state money and are being dunned by the Collections Authority now get a break of at least 40 percent on the interest and penalties they owe for unpaid debts, and possibly much more.
The discount was proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who was joined by a long list of MKs from all parties. In a letter accompanying the proposal, which was approved unanimously by the Knesset on its second and third readings Monday, Shaked said that similar “sales” in the past have resulted in sharp increases in the numbers of people settling up on old debts.
The last time the government gave those who owed it a similar break was 15 years ago. The law does not provide a discount for the actual fine itself, but as all those who owe the government know, the interest and penalties are often far greater than the original debt.
Covered under the law are debts stemming from fines and penalties of nearly all types issued by the government, including traffic tickets and others summonses issued by police and other enforcement authorities, debts to government agencies, the Tax Authority, and others. It does not include parking tickets owed to municipalities. The deal is for a limited time, however – it ends on the first of Adar this year.