The burgeoning level of the country’s tax revenues continued last month, with the Israel Tax Authority collecting 26.4 billion shekels ($6.9 billion), a figure that’s 2% higher than the figure for July 2015 after correcting for inflation.
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In the first seven months of the year, the government has taken in 168.7 billion shekels, a 5.7% increase in real terms over the same period last year. Over the past three and a half years, tax receipts have shown annual growth of about 6%.
Of the July tax take, 13.4 billion shekels came from direct taxes (income tax, corporate tax and land taxes) and 12.4 billion shekels from indirect taxes such as value-added tax, purchase taxes and customs duties. Direct tax receipts for the first seven months of the year ran 6.8% higher than the same period last year, while the indirect tax take was 4.6% more, after correcting for inflation.
Finance Ministry figures released on Monday also showed that the government ran a 500-million-shekel budget surplus last month. For the first seven months, meanwhile, the government’s budget deficit was 2.6 billion shekels. The budget provides for a 35-billion-shekel budget for the entire year, or 2.9% of Israel’s gross domestic product. But for the past 12 months, from August 2015 through July 2016, the government ran a deficit equivalent to 2.2% of GDP. It’s expected that in actuality, the government will finish 2016 with a deficit coming in under 2.5% of GDP. Last year, the deficit represented less than 2.2% of Israel’s gross domestic product.