The Israel Tax Authority began granting tax credits to homosexual couples with children a few weeks ago, without waiting for the enactment of legislation on the subject that recently passed its preliminary Knesset reading.
On Sunday, the authority’s deputy director general, Miri Savion, published a clear directive to this effect in the “professional directives” section of the authority’s website.
In her directive, Savion noted that the relevant section of the law uses the words “man” and “woman” to describe the couples entitled to child tax credits. Nevertheless, she wrote, “The Tax Authority’s position on the interpretation of the ordinance with regard to giving child tax credits to same-sex couples is as follows: 1. Same-sex couples will receive the same tax credits that the ordinance grants to “couples” in the same circumstances. 2. Therefore, in the case of a married same-sex couple, the spouse who receives the allowance paid by the National Insurance Institute on behalf of his children in accordance with section 40(a) of the ordinance will also receive the tax credits granted under section 66(c)(4) of the ordinance on his personal income from labor, while the other spouse will receive the tax credits granted under section 66(c)(5) of the ordinance on his personal income from labor.” A copy of the directive was sent to the authority’s director, Moshe Asher.
Last Tuesday, the Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi parties reached a compromise that allowed the Knesset to hold its preliminary reading of the bill to grant child tax credits to same-sex couples. Under this compromise, the bill, sponsored by MK Adi Kol (Yesh Atid), was voted on last Wednesday in its original wording, which entitles “same-sex couples” to receive the credits. However, the bill will now be shelved, and instead, the finance minister will promulgate regulations authorizing same-sex couples to receive these credits.