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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘taxi’

Israeli Tax Authority Kills the Next Great Startup

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

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.

El Al Teams Up with GetTaxi

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

El Al has signed an agreement with GetTaxi to offer passengers discounts for GetTaxi’s cab hailing service in New York, Tel Aviv and other cities where it operates, the Globes business newspaper reported.

The discount from JFK to Manhattan will take $25 off the usual fare of $60-85. The discount program also is available in London and St. Petersburg, Russia.

The GetTaxi service in Israel will operate to the airport, giving El Al passengers a $5 discount. The discount is not available to inbound passengers because of an airport contract that gives one cab company exclusive rights to carry passengers out of the airport.

Israeli GetTaxi Launches New York Limo Service

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Israelis and taxis in New York — not exactly news, except that this story is not about Israelis driving taxis, but offering a hi-tech solution to taxi-starved New Yorkers.

On Thursday, GetTaxi Ltd. announced the launching of its new taxi hailing app in New York City, after many delays, partly due to resistance from the taxi union and the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The company now serves busy urbanites in London, Moscow, Tel Aviv and New York, Globes reports.

“We realized that we might not be necessary,” says GetTaxi VP marketing Nimrod May. “It’s easy to hail a cab in Manhattan. You stand at the curb and hundreds of cabs are driving around to pick you up. In contrast, at rush hour, when you need a cab, it’s hard to find one. This is where we enter the picture.”

Smart man. Anyone who spent quality time fighting over a cab at a Manhattan street corner should grab the new app.

GetTaxi, which was banned from using the noun Taxi in NYC, will operate under a special label, “G-Car,” offering a reservation service for limousines in collaboration with the city’s current fleet operators.

“When we founded the company, we dreamed of offering our users an app that would work in every territory and in every language in the world, and we’re pleased to see our vision materializing. We’re pleased to bring GetTaxi’s innovative technology and good, convenient, and state-of-the-art user experience to the residents of and many visitors to New York,” GetTaxi cofounder and CEO Shahar Waiser told Globes.

Police Looking for Two Jews Who Knifed Arab Cabbie

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Two Jewish youth attacked an Arab cab driver after they asked him to take them from Gilo, in southern Jerusalem, to downtown Jerusalem, police said Monday.

The driver, 50, is from the Beit Safafa neighborhood bordering Gilo. He escaped with light wounds after struggling with the attackers, who fled.

Police are treating the attack as an anti-Arab crime.

Arab Cabbie Tries to Commit Suicide over PA Traffic Ticket

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

A taxi driver tried to set fire into his car early Wednesday after a police officer gave him a traffic ticket because he parked in an off-limits area between Bethlehem and Beit Jala. ”I wanted to set fire to my taxi and keep myself inside it to explode because I am exploding from the new regulations given by the traffic police in Bethlehem, cab driver Ashraf Abul Sheikh told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

“My friends pulled me from the car and saved my life, but I have no doubt that I will do it again if the situation remains the same,” he added.

The police officer was not sympathetic to his complaint about the lack of parking space.

Another cab driver was at the scene said that the policeman responded to Abdul Sheik’s threat to set fire to himself and his car by saying, “OK, burn yourself; that is not my issue.”

File Closed Against 13 Year Old in Gush Etzion Taxi Bombing

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s office decided on Sunday to close the file against the 13 year old boy who was their final suspect in the throwing of a firebomb that hit a Palestinian taxi in Gush Etzion in August.

The prosecutor closed the case due to lack of evidence that the boy or his friends, whom they had released months earlier, had thrown any firebombs.

On the day the taxi was hit by a firebomb, Arabs thew firebombs and stones at Jewish-driven cars in ten different locations throughout Judea and Samaria, causing some to consider the possibility that it was an Arab who threw the firebomb, and it missed its intended target, hitting the Arab taxi instead. It’s not known if the police investigated that possibility.

Israeli Police Shoot Arab Taxi Driver Who Was Committing Terror Attack

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

In what the Israeli police are now calling a nationalistic (terror) attack, an Arab taxi driver drove into a border policeman at the Oz police station near Jaabel Mukaber in Jerusalem (the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood).

The taxi driver (39) from Jaabel Mukaber drove up to the police station gate and hit a delivery truck that was parked nearby. The border policeman at the gate then approached the taxi driver who quickly reversed and then drove forward right into the border policeman.

Three other policemen at the station then pulled their guns and shot the driver, lightly wounding him in the leg.

MDA treated both the policeman and the driver.

Police closed all the roads near Armon Hanatziv.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-police-shoot-arab-taxi-driver-in-terror-attack/2012/12/23/

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