Friday, March 03, 2006

Taxing times

After my office announced, extremely apologetically, that they were going to have to cut down my hours to part time, I quickly did something that a lot of Israelis do; went out and got a second job. I've been extremely lucky with jobs in Israel; since I left the army I've worked in 3 places and I've never been unemployed for more than a week - and even that week was out of choice. The job where I've been working for 6 1/2 years saw out the bad days of the intifada and the fact that it wasn't cut out completely, together with the fact that I enjoy the job meant that for me it made sense to look for something else part time, rather than full time.

Having had 1 full time job for such a long time, I hadn't had to make a trip to the Income Tax Authority to organise coordination of taxes "Te'um Mas". Not doing this means that your second job is taxed at the highest tax rate - currently 49% + National Insurance and Health taxes - Ouch!

The very name Income Tax Authority - Mas Hachnasa provokes images of a dungeon style environment with sadistical devils slithering around, taking their pound of flesh. The reality couldn't have been farther apart however.

About 5 years ago, Customs and the Income Tax authority moved in together to a modern block in Givat Shaul (there's also an office on Yafo). I arrived as the doors opened, negotiated the metal detector and went to grab a number. People sat quietly filling in forms as the counter beeped the numbers down. The clerks sit in a separate section of the room, with a dividing wall which no-one crosses - no "I just want to ask a question" - a queue in a very quiet, patient, un-Israeli style. It helps that the seats are comfortable and the office is clean and modern.

I was with the clerk for no more than 3 minutes - a very comfortable process but it appears that I wasn't the only one with concerns - on the shelf, by the forms was a little pile of Tehillim books!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good luck with second job.
hope it works out good for you both!