2016-04-13 / Mideast

Israel will investigate those named

Israel’s Tax Authority will investigate the Israeli companies and individuals that were identified as having offshore accounts in a dump of leaked documents known as the Panama Papers.

The Tax Authority said it will look into whether the ownership of the companies and the assets held abroad were reported to the authority and if the appropriate taxes were paid.

Its director, Moshe Asher, told the daily newspaper Israel Hayom that some of the names on the accounts have not reported overseas assets. Asher said all the information in the newly leaked documents would be crosschecked.

Some 600 Israeli companies and 850 Israeli shareholders are listed in the Panama Papers as having offshore accounts. Among the companies are Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim.

The 11.5 million documents were published following a yearlong investigation of their contents led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

It is legal to use offshore accounts.

The leaked data, which go back as far as 1975, came from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is known for creating shell companies that often conceal the ownership of assets in the accounts.

Journalists from 76 countries reviewed the documents. (JTA)

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