web analytics
September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Israeli Tax Authority Kills the Next Great Startup

In their eagerness to catch some taxi drivers, did the Tax Authority destroy the trust and reputation of an innocent and promising start-up?
GetTaxi just got got.

GetTaxi just got got.

An innovative Israeli start-up company came up with a great idea in 2010, which it dubbed GetTaxi. The idea is simple and convenient: the GetTaxi mobile app allows you to order a taxi, pay for the ride, rate the driver, and even leave a tip. For the drivers, it offer the convenience of automation, handling the billing, and notifying drivers of potential nearby clients.

This start-up has been so successful, it has reached a million users, making 20,000 orders a day to 6000 drivers, in 20 cities, not to mention, raising $42 million in funding.

But the Israeli tax authority may have just killed this enterprising young start-up.

Last week, the tax authority concluded its investigation of 89 businesses in various sectors. A team of 102 investigators managed to collect about $2.2 million from these businesses, which had under-reported their income.

One sector the team investigated were taxi drivers, traditionally a cash business. But the tax folks had a great idea. They subpoenaed GetTaxi’s internal files, obtaining the records of some three thousand Israeli taxi drivers who used the GetTaxi service. The team then targeted 50 of them, according to a report in Globes.

They compared the orders listed in GetTaxi, and the income the taxi drivers reported, and found that most of the drivers had not recorded all their journeys.

Most of the drivers ended up with a simple fine, some of the more serious cases are undergoing further investigation.

Tax Authority chief Moshe Asher told Globes, “The Tax Authority is keeping its finger on the trigger and uses all technological means to make certain that all citizens and companies pay the true amount of tax and do not put the tax burden on law-abiding citizens.”

In the process, the same tax authority possibly just destroyed a law-abiding start-up company, which had a promising future.

Its unlikely Israeli taxi drivers will continue to completely trust GetTaxi with their business, and that could affect not only GetTaxi’s revenue, but even a future exit or IPO, potentially killing the goose that could have laid the golden income tax egg GetTaxi would have brought in.

But Israelis are a resourceful people. We’ll have to see how each side responds to this challenge.

Not to worry though, in New York and other major cities, the company continues to do well, and the Israeli tax authority is not likely to have a chilling effect on its operation. The IRS is simply less fiercely dedicated than its Israeli counterpart.

True story: A few years ago, a falafel booth owner was approached by a man from a yeshiva, who inquired if Shlomi were willing to donate to the yeshiva the edges from the pita he cuts off when he makes each falafel sandwich? It would feed poor students, the man explained, and help cut back on the yeshiva’s costs.

Shlomi agreed. It’s a good deed, and he had nothing to do with all those pita edges other than dump them in the trash. How many garlic bread crisps could he possibly make anyway?

A few months later, Shlomi and other falafel and shawarma (meat gyro) vendors found themselves inside the offices of Mas Hachnasa, the Israeli income tax authority.

They were surprised to see, sitting opposite them, the man from the yeshiva to which they had all been donating their pita edges, supposedly.

They were even more surprised with the man pulled out all the pita edges the vendors had donated to him, and said the number of edges that he, a tax investigator collected, exceeded the number of individual portions they had reported.

Needless to say, falafel and shawarma stores in Israel today slit the pita open, rather than cut off the top. There’s no evidence left behind that way.

About the Author: Reports news at JewishPress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Israeli Tax Authority Kills the Next Great Startup”

  1. Second article this morning…sounds just like the US.

  2. Bill Wingard says:

    Those Taxi drivers will find a way to cheat, most cash businesses seem to find a way

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Obama in the fog.
US Says It Doesn’t Even Know How Many Americans Live in West Bank
Latest News Stories
Lunchbox Restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Bringing your own sandwich to a restaurant would appear as the height of chutzpah, but not any more—at least not at Lunchbox…

President Obama in the fog.

State Dept, seems surprised when being told how many Americans live in Judea and Samaria.

Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin.

He says he still has not made up his mind but that Obama will win the magic number of 34 to override a veto.

.

President Ruby Rivlin opened the new school year with new first grade students at the Mamad Shilat school in the Jewish town of Paduel in the Shomron, on September 1, 2015.

When Minister Erdan introduced Brig. Gen. (Res.) Gal Hirsch as his pick for the next Israeli police commissioner, his decision provoked angry reactions from several segments of the Israeli public.

The Greek Coast Guard may have prevented massive terrorist attacks in Libya Tuesday with the seizure of a vessel carrying explosives and weapons suspected of being linked with the Islamic State (ISIS). Greek media reported. Authorities said more information would be released later. Initial suspicions are the that the cargo was being shipped to Libya […]

The victims were burned alive while hanging upside down. ISIS said it was in revenge for Shi’ite executions

Opposition MK Avigdor Liberman strongly criticized Netanyahu for making the agreement.

On Tuesday, September 8, participants in this historic event will unite to pray for the safety and well-being of the Jewish nation.

Any SanDisk employee who can successfully headhunt and bring another worker to the company will receive a bonus of nearly $2,000 (20,000 shekels), the flash memory developer’s Israeli division said. The demand for high-techs employees in Israel far outstrips the supply, and SanDisk is looking for 90 new engineers and R & D departments in […]

The university claims there was a mix-up between “Obama” and the “Obama Foundation” retaining a presence on campus.

Showers installed in front of Auschwitz are simply a ‘public safety measure’ to ward off the summer heat, says the museum.

Turkish officials helped return the 21-year-old man, the Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.

White supremacist Frazier Glen Miller Jr, gave the Nazi salute to jurors who ruled him guilty of killing three in Kansas City.

PMO spokesman Mark Regev is formally appointed Israel Ambassador to England.

More Articles from Shalom Bear
Minister Danny Danon

Danon and Netanyahu haven’t always had the smoothest of relationships.

The Ulpana Hill neighborhood of the town of Beit El is in the middle of a political storm over Palestinian claims to the land and a draconian Supreme Court decision.

The Arab landowners said, if they had known the buyers were Jews, they never would have sold them the land.

The initial investigation indicates that Price Tag vandals have now graduated to murder.

This will allow the ministers to quit their Knesset positions and concentrate exclusively on their ministerial jobs.

Kerry told the Senators that parts of the inspection protocols are classified.

In case of mortar attack, Gaza border residents currently have between 3-5 seconds to look for cover.

Israel’s gun control laws are too restrictive where they should be more liberal, and too negligent, where they should be more restrictive.

The law allows government ministers to quit the Knesset and be replaced with new MKs who can concentrate on their legislative jobs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-tax-authority-kills-the-next-great-startup/2013/12/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: