Choosing to move to a new country, or invest your funds in international markets, can be a highly stressful situation. And, if you don’t fully comprehend the taxation laws in your new country, you’re likely to find yourself feeling helpless, and with less cash in your pockets. Turning to multiple accounting firms in multiple countries to ensure your every dollar, shekel, or pound is, well, accounted for may seem like the most logical move, but it may only add to your stress levels and your sense of confusion.
With offices in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and New York, and as a member of PrimeGlobal, an international network with over 70 locations worldwide, CPA firm of Aboulafia, Avital, Shrensky & Co. - and its accountants certified in multiple countries, including the United States, England, and France - is uniquely positioned to help foreign investors and olim (new immigrants) navigate the complex Israeli taxation law maze, thanks to the knowledge they’ve acquired, being olim themselves.
The firm’s US-Israel tax department is headed by Larry Stern and Ron Zalben, whose combined four decades of experience as American accountants and specializations in international taxation, enable them to provide complex tax planning for individuals (non-residents, returning residents, new immigrants) and corporations. They create the custom taxation plan and accounting infrastructure for each client living in the US, living in Israel but working in the US, or living in Israel but with assets remaining in the US, based on strategic thinking.
Both Stern and Zalben remember their initial experiences with Israeli taxation laws upon first making aliyah. How vulnerable it feels not knowing if they were paying too much, or not enough. As such, they make it their mission to take all the time their clients need to ensure they understand the tax implications of their work and investments, ensuring no hard-earned money goes to waste.
An end to double taxation
According to Zalben, “International taxation is a true art form. Our challenge and our passion is to find the optimal plan for each client to protect them from exposure to tax liabilities. The key to success is planning for every eventuality.”
With a tenure spanning over 20 years, 12 partners and a staff of 90, Aboulafia, Avital, Shrensky & Co. is one of the only firms in Israel specializing in international taxation in multiple countries. This has enables them to stay abreast of each country’s tax laws, and prevent their clients from falling prey to double taxation, whether they’re a new oleh (immigrant), a returning citizen, and Israeli on relocation abroad, or a foreign investor.
Income implications for new olim & returning citizens
Relocation and possibilities for remote work in Israel following aliyah – It is well known that many new olim continue to be employed in the United States while living in Israel. Most new olim believe that the 10-year Israeli tax exemption is an automatic perk that is applicable under all circumstances, but, in actuality, Israel’s Tax Authority does not grant the exemption to those who work US jobs remotely, from their new homes in Israel. As a result, many olim are surprised to discover (after the fact) that they must pay taxes in Israel and in the US. In such instances, the CPA firm attempts to control the damage and rescue the new olim by enabling them to pay less taxes and save on double payments.
"Even better is when olim turn to us ahead of time. This way, the firm is able to help them further, by planning the right tax trajectory for them, and significantly reducing their tax payments by thousands of shekels. For example, a new client who recently made aliyah following a fruitful hi-tech career in the US approached the firm before moving to Israel and was advised to spend less time in Israel in favor of time spent abroad. Thanks to the personal planning before his Aliyah, the firm was successful in preventing the client’s exposure to double taxation, saving him tens of thousands of shekels in taxes".
Withdrawal from advanced study fund/retirement money by dual citizenship holder – American olim who worked in Israel and want to withdraw money from their advanced study funds are exposed to double taxation in the United States. This is a classic example of double taxation the firm witnesses time and time again. In such cases, they attempt to reduce the sum their clients are required to pay as much as possible, and make various calculations to determine the correct way to withdraw money, in conjunction with the office’s Israeli Tax Department. Since each client comes with their own financial considerations, the firm examines each case and its parameters from top to bottom. The firm understands that the money in their clients’ advanced study funds and retirement packages are highly valuable savings that are meant to help retirees continue to live in dignity. As such, they do everything in their power to keep the money in their clients’ hands. Recently, they were able to save a newly retired couple upwards of 10 thousand dollars by spreading out their payments over time, and using tax credits that were available to them abroad.
Tax planning for new professionals on relocation, remote working
Many clients, especially those working in hi-tech, turn to Aboulafia, Avital, Shrensky & Co. upon making the decision to relocate abroad. And, since bookkeeping, tax laws and implications for investments in one country do not necessarily apply in another, the firm takes particular pride in keeping abreast of all relevant laws and practices - from National Insurance and Social Security payments to child tax refunds, estate planning and more, for those who continue to hold dual citizenship, as well as for former new olim who renounced their foreign citizenship following their aliyah (immigration to Israel).
Investing in foreign real estate investors’ financial plans
“Real estate investments in the US function differently than those in Israel,” explains accountant Yoav Aboulafia. “When a client approaches us, we first take a look at their investment plans, including their liabilities with respect to Israeli and American taxes, and then formulate the correct tax plan to help them invest their money. We follow the investment’s progress, examine all financial reports each quarter, and caution against possible obstacles on an ongoing basis.”
Aboulafia, Avital, Shrensky & Co. additionally provides full financial guidance and consulting services that enable investors to make the most of their money. From initial planning and continuous assistance to providing all auditing, taxation, controller, and consulting services for investments made in Israel and abroad, the firm covers all aspects of accounting operations, under a single, all-encompassing umbrella. Armed with the keen motto, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” Zalben and Stern ensure that those seeking to buy real estate in Israel as investments for themselves or their children cover all their bases and pay exactly the taxes they are required to pay - and not a shekel more.
Jerusalem branch: 15 Kanfei Nesharim St., Tel: 02-651-5155 USA: 1- 888-372-7299
Tel Aviv branch: 7 Rival St., Beit Amgar, Tel: 03-537-0080
New York branch: 347 Fifth Avenue NY, NY USA: 1-888-372-7299
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