Ratzabi leads candidate for Tax Authority post

After former Income Tax Commissioners Kaplan and Gavish refused the Finance Ministry's offer to be appointed to the post of Tax Authority director, replacing Jacky Matza, it appears that the job will be offered to former Shinui MK Ehud Ratzabi.

January 29, 2007 07:27
2 minute read.
ehud ratzabi 88 298

ehud ratzabi 88 298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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After former Income Tax Commissioners Yoni Kaplan and Moshe Gavish refused the Finance Ministry's offer to be appointed to the post of Tax Authority director, replacing Jacky Matza, it appears that the job will be offered to former Shinui MK Ehud Ratzabi. Representatives of the parties met recently to discuss the matter, and they are now awaiting the finance minister's decision. Since Tax Authority Director Jacky Matza's suspension, against the backdrop of suspected corruption, senior officials have been wary of making decisions, and the authority has been nearly paralyzed. The paralysis that gripped the Tax Authority in the wake of Matza's suspension is raising concerns among top Finance Ministry officials, as well as business and legal establishment leaders, that serious damage could be caused to the state treasury, taxpayers and the business sector. Although the temporary appointment of former Finance Minister Director General Yossi Bachar is radiating a sort of calm within the Tax Authority, Bachar is not taking an active role in the life of the organization. Senior Treasury officials are working hard to find a replacement for Matza who would restore the authority to a functioning status. Finance Ministry representatives approached former Income Tax Commissioners Moshe Gavish and Yoni Kaplan with a proposal for an appointment to the post, but they declined. The candidate currently shaping up is Ehud Ratzabi. "Ratzabi understands the tax world. He trained as an accountant, and his stint as an active chairman of the Knesset Tax Committee in the previous term made him quite knowledgeable in the tax legislation sphere. Beyond that, it needs to be recalled that Ratzabi did not handle client files that the income tax authorities have been dealing with in recent years, because he was serving as an MK," a senior economic source said over the weekend. Along with the urgent need to appoint a replacement to head the authority, Finance Ministry officials are being cautious about an appointment that is liable to be interpreted as finding a permanent replacement for Matza, while he is still under police investigation. "We need to be careful about appointing a permanent replacement for Matza, since such a move is liable to be interpreted as a clear breach of the principle of a person being innocent until proven otherwise. In this case, we need to think about a more creative appointment of a temporary replacement until the suspicions against Matza and his deputies are clarified," the source said. Ehud Ratzabi declined to comment.

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