Tax Authority accommodates postal strike

The authority acceded to requests from Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce that the self-employed can postpone tax payments.

The Tax Authority on Thursday said it would postpone tax payments by the self-employed for March if postal sanctions continue on Sunday. The authority acceded to the request from Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce President Uriel Lynn who asked that those who do not pay their taxes on time not be punished because of sanctions in all postal branches, whose postal banks are refusing to accept any payments to the government. The union representing 7,000 Israel Postal Company workers has decided to continue, and maybe even intensify sanctions, which have been going on for a week, even though a joint team of Finance Ministry, Communications Ministry and Israel Postal Company officials will meet soon to discuss the future of the government company. The workers are protesting the government's decision not to lower the rates of bulk mail to allow the company to be competitive with private companies that will be able to deliver such mail starting this summer. Lynn said postal workers have hung hand-written signs in all postal branches stating that they will not accept deposits to government accounts, including the tax authorities. VAT payments are paid on the 15th of the month, and many self-employed pay at the post office to avoid paying commercial bank fees. Lynn said those who can't do business at the post office should not be penalized, and that deadlines should be extended until after the sanctions are stopped. The Tax Authority noted that payments can still be made at postal agencies (run by contractors) and at commercial banks.