Postal Service Ordered to Inspect All Packages for Tax Purposes

A view of mailboxes at the central post office in Tel Aviv. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A lawsuit by a group of businesses has resulted in a High Court ruling that could see many more Israelis paying higher taxes on imported goods – as well as significant delays in deliveries of packages by the Israel Postal Service.

According to Tax Authority rules, shipments from abroad of goods that $75 and under are exempt from all taxes, while packages valued between $75 and $100 are subject to 17% Value Added sales Tax, as well as other fees. Packages valued at $500 or more are subject to duty as well. According to the lawsuit, the Postal Service has not been collecting the required taxes on packages over $75, while delivery services such as UPS and Fedex are checked to ensure they collect the taxes. The court agreed with the complaint, and starting February 15, the Postal Service will be inspecting all packages to determine what fees need to be collected, if any.

Speaking to Channel 12, analysts said they did not expect the Postal Service to easily live up to the requirements. According to the analysts, the Postal Service handles 99% of packages that come into the country, and the result will be significant delays in deliveries for customers whose packages are shipped by the Service.

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