TISA » Topics » Capital Gains Tax

This excerpt taken from the TISA 20-F filed Mar 31, 2005.

          Capital Gains Tax

          Israeli law generally imposes a capital gains tax on the sale of capital assets located in Israel, including shares in Israeli companies, by both residents and non-residents of Israel, unless a specific exemption is available or unless a tax treaty between Israel and the shareholder’s country of residence provides otherwise. The law distinguishes between real gain and inflationary surplus. The inflationary surplus is equal to the increase in the purchase price of the relevant asset attributable solely to the increase in the Israeli consumer price index between the date of purchase and the date of sale. The real gain is the excess of the total capital gain over the inflationary surplus. 

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          Prior to the tax reform, sales of our ordinary shares by individuals were generally exempt from Israeli capital gains tax so long as (i) our ordinary shares were listed on certain stock exchanges, including the NASDAQ SmallCap Market and the Boston Stock Exchange, or listed on a stock exchange in a country appearing on a list approved by the Controller of Foreign Currency and (ii) we qualified as an Industrial Company.

          Pursuant to the tax reform, generally, capital gains tax is imposed at a rate of 15% on real gains derived on or after January 1, 2003, from the sale of shares in companies (i) publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (“TASE”); or (ii) (subject to a necessary determination by the Israeli Minister of Finance) Israeli companies publicly traded on a recognized stock exchange outside of Israel (such as the company). This tax rate does not apply to: (i) dealers in securities; (ii) shareholders that report in accordance with the Inflationary Adjustment Law; or (iii) shareholders who acquired their shares prior to an initial public offering (that are subject to a different tax arrangement). The tax basis of shares acquired prior to January 1, 2003 will be determined in accordance with the average closing share price in the three trading days preceding January 1, 2003. However, a request may be made to the tax authorities to consider the actual adjusted cost of the shares as the tax basis if it is higher than such average price. 

          Non-Israeli residents shall be exempt from Israeli capital gains tax on any gains derived from the sale of shares of Israeli companies publicly traded on a recognized stock exchange outside of Israel, provided such shareholders did not acquire their shares prior to an initial public offering. However, non-Israeli corporations will not be entitled to such exemption if an Israeli resident (i) has a controlling interest of 25% or more in such non-Israeli corporation, or (ii) is the beneficiary or is entitled to 25% or more of the revenues or profits of such non-Israeli corporation, whether directly or indirectly. 

          In any event, the provisions of the tax reform shall not affect the exemption from capital gains tax for gains accrued before January 1, 2003, as described above. 

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