After Record Year, Tax Chief Quits

Israel Tax Authority chairman Yehuda Nasradishi will be stepping down on April 30, he informed Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz yesterday.

Four years on the job, Nasradishi is largely credited with turning the ITA around after several top officials were arrested in a corruption scandal. Under his leadership, the authority brought in record surplus revenues last year, exceeding the Finance Ministry's goal by NIS 12 billion, or 1.5% of GDP.

nasradishi - Tomer Appelbaum - January 26 2011
Tomer Appelbaum

Steinitz had asked Nasradishi to stay on for a few more months until a replacement could be found, but Nasradishi said he was willing to stay on only for a full year. When the ministry rejected his terms, he announced he was leaving.

Nasradishi is considered one of the best head taxmen in the country's history. He began as an income tax clerk in Netanya and rose through the ranks until being appointed ITA head in early 2007, after scandal rocked the institution. He is credited with helping restore the faith of the authority's employees, bringing back stability and ending labor conflicts.

He navigated the ITA through the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, and advanced plans to encourage foreign investment, compensate people and businesses damaged by Operation Cast Lead, improve the tax breaks for new immigrants and returning citizens, and computerize tax reporting.

Steinitz wants an outsider to succeed Nasradishi, but that seems unlikely - efforts to do so four years ago failed miserably. Leading internal candidates include Nasradishi's deputies Dr. Haim Gabay and Avi Arditi, and customs chief Doron Arbely.