Sunday, October 16, 2016

Important Info: Personal Imports - Taxes, Fees, and more



package from purchase abroad - tax free!


Shopping online and wondering what to expect regarding taxes and fees? This guide will help you understand the basics that apply to residents of Israel when they shop online from overseas. Most of us shop this way to save money, so who wants a tax bill surprise when the order gets here? This post will help you avoid a tax bill (legally, of course!).


Here's the rundown (the full regulations can be found on the Israel tax authority's site)


Purchases up to $75 - no taxes

Purchases above $75 up to $500 - no customs taxes, but VAT (17% currently) and Purchase Tax (variable rates) may apply

Purchases over $500 - subject to all taxes (VAT , Purchase Tax, and Customs Tax)

Calcalist also points out that purchases of up to $75 will be subject to customs clearance fees if they arrive using an EMS service* (about 35 shekels), and if the value of the purchase is higher, the customs clearance fee can be higher as well.

Please be aware that the purchase price only (not purchase + shipping) will determine whether an item will be taxed. Once it is found to be taxable, however, applicable taxes will be calculated on the purchase price + the shipping price.

One more important point: If you order multiple orders from the same seller and they arrive within 72 hours of each other, customs may combine the orders and treat them as one purchase for tax purposes. They may not. But it is a possibility you should be aware of before you place multiple orders.

Some of these regulations are different from what some people seem to believe, so please refer back to this guide if you are about to place an order and you're not sure what to expect from the tax-man.

If you're not sure where to start shopping online, I've compiled a list of websites that offer low cost shipping to Israel! Please be sure to check it out! Let's help open Israel's marketplace and bring down our cost of living without bringing down our standard of living!

Some of my favorite websites to shop from are:

BetterWorldBooks.com ~ iHerb ~ AliExpress

Be sure to check out the whole list!


*Examples of EMS services - Express Mail, Fedex, UPS and other express delivery services. Sometimes DHL is EMS and sometimes it is not.

1 comment:

  1. Hi and thanks for this! I just have two questions after reading.Which delivery services are not EMS? Also, I see lots of packages from oversees in the post office here in Efrat. How does Customs determine which packages to open to check the contents' value? Do you have the answers or know where I can find the answers? Thanks!

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