Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli to pay tax evasion fine

In late December, news of Refaeli’s potential indictment came about. Her mother, who was her modeling agent, was also subject to the money-laundering scheme, according to reports.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, who has been investigated by the nation’s Tax Authority since 2015, will have to pay taxes for the roughly 16 million NIS (almost $4.5 million) that she earned in 2009-2010.

The supermodel claims she was living mostly in the United States at the time with her then-boyfriend, actor Leonardo DiCaprio. However, an Israeli district court found that her primary residence was in Israel during those years.

She filed a civil suit in the Lod district court, appealing the Tax Authority’s ruling, which claimed she lived in Israel during the time she dated DiCaprio and that she would have to pay taxes on money earned during that span.

Judge Samuel Bornstein said records prove that Refaeli was in Israel for 185 days in 2009 and 131 days the following year, according to Globes.

In late December, news of Refaeli’s potential indictment surfaced. Her mother, Tzipi, who was her modeling agent, was also subject to the money-laundering scheme, according to reports. The goal was to avoid Israel’s higher taxes for those who live within its borders.

Her mother is suspected of lying to authorities about where the model lived during this period, with reports saying she resided in Tel Aviv. Additionally, she allegedly concealed relevant information for the years 2011-2012, with the total income hidden coming to NIS 23 million.

According to Israel’s tax law, an Israeli resident would be liable to pay tax on all income earned abroad whereas a foreign resident would only pay taxes on income generated within Israel.

Another six million shekels were allegedly hidden from the taxman during a previous compromise agreement signed in 2009, when Refaeli claimed to have paid all the taxes she owed in Israeli and overseas income during 2005-2007.

Refaeli and both of her parents still face indictment for several tax evasion schemes.

Refaeli will file an appeal for the district court’s decision in Israel’s Supreme Court.