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Policy Change

Over the course of the years, SID- Israel consolidated its relationships and ties with political officials in a variety of government offices in order to expand Israel’s role in development and to position SID- Israel as its consultative body. To these ends, SID- Israel has developed relationships within the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bank of Israel, and the Knesset. These relations is ultimately serving to open the doors toward developing tax exempt status (46A) and government funding for NGO humanitarian work overseas, including national insurance for outgoing volunteers, provision of visas and overcoming obstacles for volunteers.

46A – ELIGIBILITY FOR TAX FREE CONTRIBUTIONS

Following two years of painstaking work with regard to the issue of granting authorization for 46a to international organizations for development and assistance, real success was achieved when the Ministry of Finance was brought on board to help us with moving the issue forward.

The process of receiving Paragraph 46a authorization is a complex process for every organization that wants to receive it.  Consequently, organizations for development and assistance must prepare themselves accordingly, study the general procedure and begin to collect the necessary authorizations and documents.

The current procedure enables organizations that operate outside of Israel to receive Paragraph 46a eligibility subject to a number of criteria:

1.       The request for receiving authorizations will be based on a project with humanitarian aspects (not necessarily in crisis), for a definite time (up to 3 years) and with a defined budget.

2.       The activity will not take place in a country which is defined as an enemy country.

3.       The activity will not harm the clear interests of Israel (for example, gross contradictions of government decisions).

4.       On the basis of these points, the material that reaches the Tax Authority will be transmitted to the personnel at the Treasury Ministry and MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, in order to receive their recommendation.

In this context, a few clarifications:

1.       Although the submission of the request is based on one project,  authorization for Paragraph 46a will be granted to the organization as a whole.

2.       The general intention of the Treasury Ministry and of the Foreign Ministry is to approve requests that are submitted to them without examining their content or professional elements.

3.       It is the responsibility of the organizations to understand that the procedure of receiving 46a authorization is complex for every organization and not only for organizations of assistance and development.

4.       The process of authorizing the procedure can take up to a year, in light of the fact that every authorization of Paragraph 46a is subject (by law) to the authorization of the Financial Committee.

5.       Organizations of assistance and development will receive authorization on the basis of specific projects and fields while renewal of the authorization will necessitate the submission of a new request in accordance with the same criteria.

VOLUNTEER VISAS

SID-Israel has increasingly become the address for Israeli organizations who with to advance issues that affect their work. Toward this aim, SID-Israel established a forum that deals with volunteering with the ultimate goal being to create a code of ethics for organizations and volunteers, as well as guide volunteers. During the
dialogue with the organizations, it became clear that there were obstacles for obtaining longterm visas for some Asian countries, making it difficult for these organizations to send and activate their volunteers. After a learning process and lengthy conversations with the various organizations, we prepared a document that mapped out the problems and opened a formal dialogue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs vis-à-vis the embassies of the relevant countries.

NATIONAL INSURANCE

An outgoing Israeli volunteer is insured by the National Insurance – if harm occurs while the volunteer is on his/her way, during volunteering or on their way home. In contrast, an outgoing volunteer representing an international organization in Israel, is not insured and must pay for his/her own private insurance. SID-Israel is advancing a process at the National Insurance that will provide insurance for outgoing volunteers representing an international organization.

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