At a press briefing in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), Israel's Minister of Finance, Mr. Kahlon stated that although estate tax is, according to him, the “most just tax”, there will not, due to the opposition of the Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, be any legislative proposal during the course of this year for such a tax to be imposed.

History of Estate Tax in Israel

Until March 31, 1981, estate tax was imposed in Israel. Since then, from time to time, there have been frequent calls for new legislation in order to reinstate this tax. In May 2000, for example, a committee headed by Professor Avi Ben-Basat, recommended the imposition of an estate tax. In the summer of 2011, Israel's Prime Minister, Mr. Benyamin Netanyahu appointed a committee, headed by Professor Manuel Trachtenberg (the "Trachtenberg Committee"), which, inter alia, examined, ways to change the composition of taxes in Israel. Although the Trachtenberg Committee considered recommending an estate tax in Israel, the committee was ultimately split on this issue and no concrete recommendations were made. In addition, from time to time Private Bills have been filed with respect to introducing an estate tax, such as the private bill that was filed in March 2010 by Knesset members Shelly Yechimovitch and Marina Solodkin.

The possibility of imposing an Estate Tax in Israel in the near future

Since May 2015, Mr. Moshe Kahlon has been the Minister of Finance of Israel. Mr. Kahlon is known for his positive approach regarding the imposition of an estate tax, and since he commenced his position as a Minister, the question as to whether estate tax will be imposed, has been often raised.

On March 14, at a press briefing in the Knesset, Mr. Kahlon stated that although estate tax is, according to him, the “most just tax”, there will not be any legislative proposal during the course of this year for such a tax to be imposed. This is in view of the fact that Mr. Kahlon believes that he does not have the necessary political power to introduce such legislation, given the opposition of the Prime Minister, Mr. Benyamin Netanyahu.

It appears that this statement puts an end to the possibility of an estate tax being imposed in the near future, at least for the next 1-2 years.