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Guide for Foreign Residents’ Property Tax Discount for Low Income (Jerusalem)

For the benefit of visitors to the site, we prepared a detailed and clear guide concerning property tax, who is required to pay it, and who is eligible to get a discount due to low income.

Every municipality is entitled to set its own regulations for giving a property tax discount.  This guide will explain the regulations for receiving a property tax discount due to low income for Jerusalem residents.


What is the municipal property tax?

 
 The property tax - is an annual tax covering the period between January 1 to December 31 which property-owning residents have to pay to finance the operation of their municipality or town council.
 
The criteria for determining each property’s rate of taxation is the property’s total area, how the property is used (residential, commercial, office, industrial, etc.), the location of the property (an upscale area, a developed commercial area, etc.) and the resident’s economic situation.
The property tax bill is sent to one’s home address at the beginning of the secular year.

Remember! Even though you can get a property tax discount until the end of the year, delay in paying the bill from February 1 on will incur charges of linkage and interest and may even initiate execution proceedings against you by a lawyer on behalf of the municipality. Therefore, irrespective of the reason why you delayed in asking for a discount, you should pay the full property tax (without delay) and afterwards you can submit a request for a discount. When it is approved, they will refund you the difference.
 

Who is considered the holder of the property concerning property tax liability?
 
Property tax liability lies with the “holder of the property.” The holder is the owner who owns the property or a tenant who is renting the property for a term of not less than one year.

Remember: As soon as you enter the property you have to submit documents testifying to your possession of the property. If you only submitted your documents later, you might lose your eligibility to submit a request for a discount.


What documents do you need to register yourself as a holder of a property?

When buying a property - If you bought a property, you need a copy of the sales contract, and the passport (or identity card) + a copy of both the seller and buyer to register it on your name as the holder.

When renting a property - If you are renting a property, you need a copy of the rental contract, and the passport + a copy of all those registered in the rental contract to register it on your name as the holder. If the apartment is registered on the name of the previous renter, one should include a Leaving a Property Form from the previous renter with his identification information and signature that includes the exact date that he left, and note the property’s address and municipal account number. You can get a sample form in our office or download it here.



 Leaving a property and / or selling a property
 
When you are leaving the property because your rental contract finished or you sold the property, make sure your name was removed as the holder of the property. If you didn’t update City Hall that you left the property, the account will continue to be listed on your name and you will continue to be liable for property tax payments. If you do not pay them, City Hall will bring legal proceedings against you until the debt is paid.


What documents are required to remove your name from a property after you left or sold it to someone else?
 
To leave a property - To remove your name from a property that you rented when you leave it, you will have to bring a Leaving a Property confirmation from the owner of the property with his identification information and signature, the exact date that you left with your identification information, the property’s address and municipal account number, and give it to the property tax department while showing your passport. You can get a sample form at our office or download it here.
 
Remember: Even if you’re leaving one property for another that you bought or rented, to remove your name from the previous apartment to avoid being charged two property taxes, it is not enough to show a rental / sales contract of the new apartment you are entering. You still have to present a “Leaving a property” form for the apartment you left.

Selling a property - If you want to remove your name from a property you sold, you have to bring a sales contract + copy, and show the passport (or identity card) of the seller and buyer.

 
Please note: When the new holder (tenant) or the owner is not an Israeli citizen and has a foreign passport, he has to come personally to the Property Tax Department together with a valid passport and visa to change holders.



What discount is available for reasons of income?
 
Those with a low income may be eligible for a property tax discount between 40-90% depending on the size of their income and the number of family members.
A property tax discount is not given automatically by law and one must request the discount to get it.
One can only get a property tax discount for the present year but not for previous years.

Remember! If you were granted a property tax discount due to low income, you will have to pay it by the end of the year or you will lose the discount.


How is income calculated?
 
Income is determined according to the gross income for the months of October-November-December that preceded the fiscal year for which the discount is being requested. A request for a discount for 2017 will depend on one’s income in October-November-December 2016. If the income is not the same for every month, you have to combine the three months’ income and divide it by three, and the results will determine the monthly income that you put down in the discount request form.
The following are considered income: salary, pension, benefit, donation, scholarship, support, rental income, compensation, payments by the National Insurance Institute (besides those listed below) including the income of household members aged 18 and over, and attach appropriate documentation for all sources of income for those three months for each member of the household.

Important: If the rental fee for the apartment is paid directly by the parents (in an apartment up to 120 sq. meters, or in an the apartment over 120 sq. meters if 10 or more people are living in it), it is not considered income (in calculating the size of the discount). 


More concerning calculating income
 
* Bituach Leumi payments for a disabled child, children’s allowance, old-age and survivor’s benefits are not considered income (in calculating the size of the discount). 
* Only half of the income of unmarried children (over 18) living in the apartment are considered income (in calculating the size of the discount). 
* The income of an unmarried child (over the age of 18) up to a total of 4650 NIS is not considered income (in calculating the size of the discount). 
* A person who rents his apartment to someone else and rents another apartment for himself, only the difference (if any) between the two rents will be considered as income (in calculating the size of the discount). 

Conditions for a Property Tax Discount: 

* If the apartment has several partners who are eligible for a discount (such as students), they should submit their application for a discount together, and the discount will be given to each one according to his proportional share of the apartment area. Prior to filing the application, the applicants should make sure that the property tax account is registered on their names (by bringing a signed contract between all those living on the property).
* Since the discount is only given for one property held by the holder, if the one requesting a discount does not appear in his identity card as a resident of that city where he is asking for a discount, he must provide authorization from the municipality where he is registered in his identity card insert that he is not getting a property tax discount in that city.
* The discount is limited only to 100 square meters area of the apartment except for an  apartment of over 100 square meters in which lives a family of more than 10 persons. In such an apartment, the area where the discount will be applied will be calculated according to 10 square meters per person. For example, if an apartment has 11 people, the discount will be limited to 110 square meters).
* In an apartment with an area of over 160 square meters, no discount will be granted, unless the apartment is held by a family of 13 children or more.
* A person who owns two apartments that are both eligible for a discount can get one discount for the apartment that confers the highest discount. 


How much of a discount can one get?To print, click here.

 “The number of persons living in the property” refers only to family members. Partners in an apartment will each be checked for his relative share in the apartment.
 ​




What documents should you bring to get a discount? To print the instructions, click here
 
1.  A filled out application form for a discount. You can get a sample form at our office or download it here.
2. One’s passport with a valid visa (for everyone living in the property).
3. A copy of one’s passport with a valid visa (for everyone living in the property).
4. A copy of a valid rental contract including full details (for a period of not less than a year).
5. If one of the household members is a yeshiva or kollel student, he has to provide an original certificate from the yeshiva listing the name of the student, his passport number, the number of hours he is studying, and the scholarship stipend he received during the months of October-November-December of the year prior to the year he is seeking the discount. The certificate should clearly state the name of the person who is issuing it on behalf of the yeshiva, including his exact position in the institution and the number of his identity card.
6. If one of the family members (including family members above the age of 18 who live in the apartment) worked as an employee in the three months of October-November-December or part of those months before the year that they are seeking a discount, he should show his print-out of monthly salary slips for those months. One who is self-employed should show his last tax assessment that was approved by income tax for the months.
7.  If one is married, one has to present one’s marriage certificate.
8.  If the one requesting the discount (including a student, one who lives alone in the apartment, etc.) or his/her spouse, or both of them or only one of them, did not work during the months of October - November - December of the previous year or only worked during part of them, and they are registered in Bituach Leumi, he/they must provide a “Coordinated Job Places'' report or a document from Bituach Leumi proving the unemployed status for those living in the apartment including a child / children (over 18 years old). 
9. An affidavit before an attorney / court registrar / rabbinical judge. The affidavit shall specify if the applicant or his/her spouse worked in these months or in only part of them, or if he or she received funds while detailing the amounts and dates from each source.  If one didn’t work, he/she still has to make the affidavit including a child / children (over 18 years old). If the parents are providing support such as monetary assistance or rent assistance, one must add this to the affidavit before an attorney / court registrar / rabbinical judge and note the amount of financial assistance and why it is provided. (As mentioned above, when parents pay apartment rental it is not considered income.) You can get a sample form at our office or  download it here.
 10. A soldier serving his compulsory service should show his enlistment document.
Please note: If the applicant or his/her spouse do not have an ID card, the municipality requires them to go to the property tax department and show a visa residence permit and a valid passport for all members of the household. Without showing a passport and without going to the municipal department, no discount will be given.
A partial and / or false report is against the law. The Jerusalem Municipality reserves the full right to inspect and verify each request with all the available legal means at its disposal, including cross checking data with other authorities and hiring detective agencies.


How to pay your property tax bill
 
You can pay your municipal tax bill in one of the following ways:
1. Go to the post office nearest your home with the municipal tax bill that was sent to you. Payment may be made with cash only.
2.  By telephone, with a service representative. Dial 02-6296333 (Sunday - Thursday 8:00-18:00)
Then press 1 # 1 #.
When the representative answers, you will have to give the contract account number that appears on the bill, and your credit card information for payment.
After payment is confirmed, you may ask that an authorization of your payment be sent to your residence.
3.  The website of the Property Tax Department. For the link, click here.
To pay at the site, you will have to enter your account number and the reference number that appears on the property tax bill.
4. By a monthly direct debit from your bank account, after you completed and submitted the municipality form, and it was approved by the Bank. To download the form, click here.
You can not pay your property taxes directly in the municipality offices.


Contact information:
 
The Jerusalem Municipality-Property Tax Department-Property Appraisal and Collection Division.
Important: In every petition you should identify the municipal account number which appears on your bill or the identity number of the account owner.
Reception hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday between 8:00 to 13:00 and on Tuesdays from 15:00 to 18:00 only.
Telephone inquiries: 02-62963333
Email inquiries: Pniyot@jerusalem.muni.il
Mail: Jerusalem Municipality-Property Tax Department-Property Appraisal and Collection Division, 1 Safra Square St., Jerusalem.
Questions and Answers:
Can I apply for a property tax discount for the previous year
Answer:
You can not apply for a discount for the previous year.
Until what date can I apply for a property tax discount
Answer:
Until December 31 of the year you are applying for. If payment is in arrears from February 1 of the current year, you will be charged linkage and interest.
What is the minimum time one has to rent an apartment to get a discount in property tax
Answer:
A minimum of 12 months, preferably 6 months in the year for which you are asking the discount.
Which months’ income are decisive in determining eligibility for a property tax discount
Answer:
The average earnings of October, November and December of the year preceding the request for the discount.
I am a foreign national and not a member of Bituach Leumi. Do I have bring a page showing all my places of employment to receive a property tax discount
Answer:
One who is not a member of Bituach Leumi doesn’t have to show a page of all the occupants’ jobs.
One of those living in the property who are seeking a property tax discount is an Israeli citizen. Does he have to bring a page showing all his places of employment
Answer:
One who is a member of Bituach Leumi has to show a page of all the occupants’ jobs.
My parents pay my apartment rent directly to the landlord. Do I have to add their payment to my declared income
Answer:
The rent amount is not considered part of his income, but that fact should be noted in the discount application form.
To receive a property tax discount, do I have to show up in the municipal department together with my wife and kids
Answer:
It is enough if you are present, as long as you bring your family’s current passports and a valid visa for everyone living in the property.
To get a property tax discount for a (yeshiva) students’ apartment, must I show up in the municipal department together with all those sharing the apartment with me
Answer:
All those living in the property are not required to be present, but the one coming to the office has to bring the current passport of everyone living in the property.
My visa is valid, but my wife's visa is not. Can I get a property tax discount based on income
Answer:
You are entitled to a discount for your relative part (50%). You have to make sure that your total revenue is not above the amount that entitles a single person to a discount.
When must I notify the municipality that I entered the property
Answer:
Your responsibility to report begins on your date of entry. A delay can cause your request for a discount to be rejected.
Does one require a valid visa to get a property tax discount on grounds of income
Answer:
You need a valid visa for the entire requested year.
My wife worked in October, November and December of the previous year, but didn’t have a fixed salary. How should we calculate her monthly income
Answer:
The average of the three months is the determining factor. In other words, add the three paychecks and divide them by three, and the result is the determining monthly salary regarding the discount.
I did not receive a property tax bill for the property. How can I know what the cost is
Answer:
To get it, you must find the previous landlord’s information including his ID number, or the apartment owner’s information and ID number.
One of those living in the apartment is registered in his identity card as living in another city. Can he get a discount on the apartment where he is living
Answer:
He is entitled to a discount providing that he brings confirmation from the municipality where he is registered that he is not receiving a discount there.
Which types of income are considered income regarding a property tax discount
Answer:
Income considered for the property tax includes a salary, pension, benefit, donation, scholarship, support, rental income, compensation, payments to the National Insurance Institute.
There are only two of us in the family. What is the maximum income level that will entitle us to a 40% property tax discount
Answer:
Income up to 5207 NIS.
There are only two of us in the family. What is the maximum income level that will entitle us to a 60% property tax discount
Answer:
Income up to 4662 NIS.
There are only two of us in the family. What is the maximum income level that will entitle us to a 80% property tax discount
Answer:
Income up to 4045 NIS.
What hours is the Jerusalem Municipal Department open
Answer:
Hours of operation: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 13:00-8:00, and on Sunday 18:00-15:00 only.
What is the address of the Jerusalem Municipality’s property tax department
Answer:
1 Safra Square, Jerusalem.
Where in the Jerusalem municipality can I request a property tax reduction
Answer:
Building 1, ground floor, to the left of the entrance.
Where in the Jerusalem municipality can I request to change the owner of the property
Answer:
Building 1, ground floor, to the left of the entrance after the elevators.
Can I request the transfer of the apartment’s ownership and a property tax reduction on grounds of income in the same place
Answer:
Yes. Go to the discount department to the left of the entrance, and you can also transfer ownership.
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