Israeli Real Estate and Tax Law FAQs – Guide to buying and selling property in Israel

I need to know about Israeli real estate and tax law, since I’m interested in investing in real estate in Israel. Do I have to travel to Israel in order to buy or sell local property?

NO. You need to to sign on the contract in Hebrew and your language, Power of Attorney and an Israel Purchase Tax form at any Israeli Consulate in your country of residence and signed all documents in front of a certified translator. Israel is a signatory to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. You need to retain an Israeli-licensed lawyer to execute all your transactions and business on your behalf.

I own real estate, land, property in Israel under my maiden name, and wish to sell this property. What should I do?

All you have to do is provide your attorney in Israel with all the original documentation: proof of purchase, the original contractual agreement, or any other documents related to the property. In addition, you should provide an affidavit signed by you and an additional affidavit signed by a person who is not related to you. Your attorney will notify the Israel Registration Authority (TABU) regarding the necessary required changes.

How does one obtain proof of ownership of real estate in Israel?

Depends. There are different government agencies that deal with different properties depending on numerous factors. One must know where the property is registered. In Israel there are several authorities that handle the registration of properties. Most of the properties are handled by the Israel Land Administration. Properties that are located in the occupied territories are handled by the Civil Administration. For property that is registered at the Israel Land Registration Office, you can receive information directly from us.

What do I have to know about real estate taxes in Israel?

Israeli real estate taxes are complex in nature. We can help you understand the different Israeli taxes pertaining to buying or selling apartment or any other property in Israel.

Important Taxes are, Capital Gain Tax and Appreciation Tax. Capital Gains Tax is paid to the government as opposed to Appreciation Tax that is paid to the municipal authority. Generally speaking, the tax is determined by an appraiser of the municipality, and you have the right to object and present opposing appraisal.

What are the taxes applied for buying real estate, property in Israel?

In Israel the law requires buyer to pay a Purchase Tax. The rate of this Purchase Tax is progressive and may range between 3.5% up to 6% it depends the nature of the real estate, land, apartment or other Israeli property.

As a foreign citizen are there any restrictions on real estate investments in Israel?

It depends on many factors. There are a few restrictions relating to foreigners in Israel. Property that is handled by the Israel Land Administration will be able to be purchased, only if you are entitled to become a citizen according to the Law of Return. If the registered owner is private, there are no restrictions.

I have property in Israel registered in my name at the Tabu the Land Registration Office, but without any additional identification information. How can I sell my property?

In order to sell the property in Israel you need to have additional information regarding your registrations. Additional information such as your Passport number or ID number. This may be done by providing affidavit signed by you. In addition, you are required to provide additional supporting documents proving that you are the same person as the one on the records. Many tax forms and a selling contract for beginning.

I have real estate property registered in the Tabu the Israel Land Registration Office. What documents are required for transferring my property to someone else?

In order to register this transaction with the local authorities, you will need the following documents:

  1. Deed of Transaction signed by the parties and certified by an Israeli lawyer.
  2. Certification from the Israeli Tax Authority stating that all debts pertaining to this property were paid in full.
  3. Certification from the municipal authority stating that all the debts, including the Improvement Tax, were paid.

In addition, if there is a mortgage registered in favor of the seller’s mortgage bank, it is required to provide a deed of cancellation of the mortgage from the mortgage bank.

How does one transfer property that is registered at the Israel Land Registration Office to one’s child?

Under Israeli tax and real estate laws, any transfer of property – even as a gift – is considered to be a real estate transaction. So all necessary documentation pertaining to any real estate transaction is warranted. You should provide all the required documents for the transaction. You and your child should sign an affidavit stating that the property is given without any consideration, and you should file it with the Israel Tax Authority and municipal authority.

I inherited property in Israel. What must I do to transfer this real estate to my name?

First you should obtain a Inheritance, Succession or Probate court Order from the Israeli family court. After obtaining this order, you should file it to the authority that handles the property. Usually there are no tax certificates or municipal certificates needed.

Aharoni Law Firm represents international clients from the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe, and Israel. Please contact us from the US or Canada at 1.888.923.0022 or in Israel at (972) 3.9055478 or (972) 50.7322688 to schedule a discussion regarding your case. Visit us for more information about Israel Business Law.